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How to Make Octagonal Tapered Legs

Tapered Octagons Are Just Planing to a Line

The Welsh Stick chair is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of tapered octagonal legs. If you don’t have a lathe and look longingly at the round legs on furniture thinking you could never accomplish those then perhaps you should consider making an octagonal leg. But that can look a little clunky. So why not taper it and get this cool pencil post look.

“But that looks really complex and hard to do!”

Stop whining Luke Skywalker and pick up a plane because this process is nothing more than planing to a line. Its easy and the hardest part is actually laying out the octagons and transferring the lines down your blank. In other words, its not the least bit difficult.

There are certainly other ways and other tools that can be used to do this same task. I find a drawknife to be super fast when hogging off the wood, and a spokeshave is a lot of fun to use to refine the facets. But using a hand plane offers a lot more control if you have never attempted a leg like this before.

New Lessons From The Hand Tool School Vault

    In this tutorial I mentioned a more detailed look at creating the initial square taper as well as a video on the Joiner’s Saddles that I used while shaping the octagon. There is also a good tip on using the saw plate reflection to your advantage while sawing. Make sure to check out:

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