Lock Miter Bit Exercise (Legs)

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Joe Scharle

New User
Joe
I'm not sure if this is any improvement over splined miters. But I thought I'd give it a try and pass my experience on to you. First off, I can make splined miter legs in a third of the time that this takes. Second, I rarely get fine edge tear-out on a T/S. After seeing the tear out on my setup scrap, I over sized the pieces so I could plane it out. Also, at 1 1/2", there would be NO clearance in the center, possibly preventing the sides to meet.

Using wide stock make the first profile.


Ripping out a piece with one profiled edge.


So that I could avoid having to run a narrow piece to cut the mating profile, vertically against the R/T fence, I use my Horiz R/T so I can work on 'the flat'.


As you can see, this narrow piece will rock on it's narrow bottom.


So, make a 'carrier support' with one of the other pieces.


This is what the finished end looks like.


And this shows the thin edge tear out caused by having to cut against the grain half the time. No, you can't climb cut this because it happens when there's still a lot of meat on the edge.


I cut some drawer backs in poplar and book ends from pine and didn't get tear out. But hardwoods will be a challenge, so leave some extra wood for fixing this probability. After the legs are all glued up, I will 'gang' run then through the planner and that should fix this. http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showphoto.php?photo=34476
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
You know, I never considered using a lock miter bit for making legs. This is a great way to avoid gluelines when you don't have 12/4 stock to work with!

Any way you can construct legs this way and still taper them without the profile showing?
 

Joe Scharle

New User
Joe
Should work, but with a lot of effort and posibility of many futile attempts. I've made a lot of planters with compound tapers, so if you taper the stock and then cut the lock miter you should get the effect. But to make the square and then taper the leg on your jig would leave the bottom both weak and the faces looking a little 'off'; I think.
At any rate, this exercise has convinced me to stay with splined miters when I can't get leg stock. But for drawer backs, it's a lot faster than DTs and just as strong/good looking.IMHO!
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
You know, I never considered using a lock miter bit for making legs. This is a great way to avoid gluelines when you don't have 12/4 stock to work with!

Any way you can construct legs this way and still taper them without the profile showing?

Bas, as I understand it there are three main reasons for lock miter legs-

1. During glue up you can easily clamp the legs and the miters won't slip.
2. It is great if you want quartersawn ray fleck on all faces of a leg, not just two. Stickley often did this.
3. Gotta keep Infinity, Freud, CMT, etc. in business. :dontknow:

You can taper the stock first before cutting the lock miters for a tapered legs but I think you need to taper all legs. The legs on Shaker and a lot of other style tables are often only tapered on the inner two faces and the taper doesn't usually start until below the apron.
 
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