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6 sided table leg

jjjjj's picture

How do I cut a six-sided table leg, all faces being equal width?  My blade tilts away from the fence.  I assume I set the blade at a certain angle, at a certain distance from the fence, and run the corners off.  How do I determine the angle and distance?  John

Metod's picture

6-sided legs (post #170798, reply #1 of 12)

John,

Set the blade at 30* (from vertical). Make a (or two) test cuts on 'experimental' stock.

Mark (use compass) the hexagons on the ends of the legs stock - or make a cardboard hexagon template and trace it. Cut/saw fairly close to each edge, say 1/32". For this, touch the saw blade close to the line, clamp the fence when satisfied. Clean to the edges with a handplane .

With four legs, it is probably not worth the time to build some sort of a jig. Maybe somebody will chime in with a better idea.

Best wishes,

Metod

DaveRichards's picture

I had to have a look at it (post #170798, reply #2 of 12)

I had to have a look at it graphically. 

Metod's right. It's probably not worth a jig. Once you sort out the fence location it can stay in one position. In the sketch, the fence would be to the right and the blade to the left. At least as I have drawn it, after the first cut, rotate the piece end for end. For the third cut, roll it 180°. Then, for the final cut, rotate it end for end.

I think Metod's suggestion of leaving a bit to clean up with a handplane is a great idea. Besides, I couldn't see to set the fence on my saw to get an accurately measured distance.

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jjjjj's picture

6 sided table leg (post #170798, reply #3 of 12)

Thanks Metod and Dave.  I have it now.  There is a great animation on how to draw a hexagon with compas and ruler on wikipedia, "hexagon".  I see you would start out with a rectangular piece.  I'm not sure yet how the side length relates to the original dimensions.  I will draw it out and figure out the proportions.  Thanks.  John

RalphBarker's picture

accurate measurements (post #170798, reply #5 of 12)

Dave, I thought the fence on your SketchUp saw was accurate to within 1/64".  ;-)

Helpful drawing, though.

DaveRichards's picture

Ralph, my SketchUp fence is (post #170798, reply #6 of 12)

Ralph, my SketchUp fence is accurate to the nearest 64th. The overall width is closer to 5/16" than 19/64 or 21/64, whichever it is--I didn't bother to check. ;) 

DaveRichards's picture

John, I initially thought (post #170798, reply #4 of 12)

John,

I initially thought about starting with square stock as you would for most table legs but that has the potential to create errors because the fence would need to be moved. It would also result in more waste. As to the dimensions, I just let SketchUp tell me. I set the dimension across the flats and measured the other distances. The ratio of width across flats to width between points is 1:1.1547. So if you know the flat to flat distance, multiply it by 1.1547 to get the width across the points. The dimension shown at the bottom would the distance between fence and where the blade exits the table. That distance would be the flat to flat distance times 0.866025.

Considering all that, I might be inclined to use a sled with a zero clearance edge and mark out the hexagon on the ends of the stock. That way you wouldn't care about the fence to blade distance and that sort of thing. The sled could be a simple affair with a runner for the miter gauge slot or it could run against the fence set at an easily set distance from the blade.

Metod's picture

John, You are (post #170798, reply #7 of 12)

John,

You are welcome.

Dave's graphics are really neat - clearer than my words. Thanks Dave for chiming in.

Best wishes to both,

Metod

gdblake's picture

Make a sled and be safe (post #170798, reply #8 of 12)

Metod gave you what you need to know to make the cuts.  Personally, I would make a simple sled with fence and hold downs to keep the stock in place while it is fed through the tablesaw.  Forget making a runner, easier to adjust if the sled just rides against your rip fence.  You will get more accurate cuts and keep your hands away from the blade which is the most important part of this.

gdblake

We're all here because we're not all there.

Metod's picture

Sled (post #170798, reply #9 of 12)

gdblake,

Great idea about using a sled. I see it useful in several other situations too.

Best wishes,

Metod

DaveRichards's picture

Yes, good idea on the sled. I (post #170798, reply #10 of 12)

Yes, good idea on the sled. I suggested that, too and was thinking that this could be a good reason to build a taper jig. Just because it's called a taper jig, it doesn't mean the taper couldn't be zero. ;)

martinlewis's picture

A tapering jig allows you to (post #170798, reply #11 of 12)

A tapering jig allows you to adjust your tapered cuts to nearly any angle up to about 15 degrees and consistently rip such angles

martinlewis's picture

6-sided legs (post #170798, reply #12 of 12)

Frist mark it with pencil then cut it with blade .