Making Tapered Table Legs

What You'll Need
Table saw with tapering jig (hand saw or router)
Measuring tape
Straight edge
Table leg
Power sander
Fine grit sandpaper
Paint or stain
Brush or rag

Making your own tapered table legs can create a unique design for any type of table. It is an easy process if you have a table saw and a tapering blade. Even without those tools, it is still possible to form a taper with a hand saw or a router. No matter how you decide to form the taper on the table legs, the basic procedure will be the same. Follow these 4 easy steps to make your own tapered table legs.

Step 1 - Draw the Lines

After deciding exactly what angle of taper you want on the table legs, take some measurements and write them down. Remember that the taper has to be different at both ends of the leg. The bottom has to be solid enough to hold the weight of the table, as well as anything that will be placed on it. Transfer the measurements to the table legs and use a straight edge to draw a line from the top to the bottom.

Step 2 - Make the Cuts

Cut along the lines that you have marked using a saw of your choosing. Make sure to line up the outside edge of the blade to the outside edge of the line so that the taper is exactly the size that you wanted. Take your time to cut the straightest line possible. If you are using a hand saw or router, be sure to secure the table leg in a vice or down to a table with clamps. If using a table saw with a tapering blade, set the fence in such a way as to ensure that the outer part of the blade is flush with the outer edge of the line.

Step 3 - Sand

Use a power sander with a fine grit sander to form the taper into the exact shape that you want. Smooth any burrs and cracks that were caused by the cutting process. The best way to do so is to make the cuts on all of the legs, then line them up in a row on a table or a set of sawhorses. Doing so allows you to match each table leg to the others, ensuring that the angles of all the tapers match. Sand all of the edges, including the tapered ones. Make sure that the angles duplicate the angles of all the other table legs.

Step 4 - Stain or Paint

After the table legs have been formed properly, clean off the legs with a rag to remove all of the dust particles that have been produced. If staining, begin from the top and work your way down the leg, using a clean rag to apply the pigment. If painting, add a coat of primer with a brush and then at least two coats of paint to ensure an even, uniform finish.