The Dovetail Diaries

The advancement of one man's woodworking skills.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If it was a horse, I'd have to shoot it.

This evening I rushed home from work to taper my table legs before the live Guild session.  I decided that I was going to try to use my metal tapering jig.  I've used it once in the past on a side table that I made for my wife, and I hated every minute of it.  The saw blade was uncomfortably close to my hand near the end of the cut and I was never quite sure how to set it for the proper angle.

After looking at it for a couple of minutes I decided that it wasn't going to work for me.  I built the jig below, which is similar to the tapering jig shown in the last Guild session.

I was able to taper the legs and somehow managed not to taper the wrong side.  Unfortunately, I ended up with a crack in the bottom of one leg.  I laid out the cuts hoping to cut out the crack during the tapering process, but you can't win 'em all.

This will give me an opportunity to try some of the epoxy filling techniques that I've seen demonstrated.  Fortunately this is on the back side of the front left leg, so the repair will not be visible from the front.

I'll have this leg repaired and back in the saddle in no time.


  1. That is frustrating. I will be interested in seeing how you how you fix the crack.


  2. sounds like your older tapering jig is the same model I have too. I hate every second of using it. Can't wait to build a new one. Good luck with the epoxy. It's a lifesaver!

  3. I just finished my trial epoxy patch. I took a piece of the cutoff from the leg and filled the crack in it with clear 5 minute epoxy. The results so far are not impressive.

    I can see that I'm going to have to overfill to prevent a divot over the crack. I may have to attack each side of the split separately.

  4. Walnut is so good at hiding cracks. I hate it when they show up later in the production process after I have taken down jigs and reset saw fences. I have used the glue and walnut sawdust powder patch method with success on smaller cracks. Haven't used it on larger cracks. I am currently making some walnut nightstands that have some large "character" marks that may need taming.

  5. John, I tried an epoxy patch on Saturday and had success with a small crack in the side of a rear leg.

    The bottom of the leg shown above looks okay from one side, but it will need a second application from the other side to completely fill it.

    I'm planning to put up a post in a couple of days when I get it completed.