How to Cut Tapered Table Legs

Are you looking for a way to take your DIY tables to the next level with beautifully tapered table legs? Have you ever wanted to make a stylish tapered table for your home or office but needed help figuring out where to start? You may wish to the satisfaction of creating something beautiful with your own hands. Well, we have good news!

Then you’ve come to the right place! With just a few tools and a bit of patience, you can quickly learn how to craft customized furniture pieces that look like they were store-bought. 

How to Cut Tapered Table Legs

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through every step, from choosing the best materials to correctly measuring and cutting that perfect taper in each leg. This project is ideal for woodworking beginners and experts alike – the rest of this article will take you through all the steps needed on how to cut tapered table legs to produce professional-looking furniture pieces that could easily be featured in a store display! Read on as we teach you all you need to know about creating beautiful tapered table legs for your unique projects.

Necessary Items

Before we dive into the instructions, be sure to gather all your materials first. You’ll need:

  • A Table Saw
  • A Miter Gauge (for guiding the wood)
  • Safety Goggles and Ear Protection
  • Pencil or Marker for marking measurements
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape for accurate markings
  • Wood Glue or Screws (depending on your preference)
  • Sandpaper (various grits from 60-220)
  • Wood Finish of your choice

10 Steps on How to Cut Tapered Table Legs

Step 1: Choose the Right Materials

The first step in creating beautiful tapered table legs is choosing the suitable materials. The most common wood types used for furniture making include maple, cherry, oak, and walnut. These woods are known for their strength, durability, and smooth finish. They are also readily available in most hardware stores.

Step 2: Measure and Mark

Once you have your materials ready, the next step is to measure and mark where the taper will begin and end on each leg. For tapered legs, the bottom of the leg should be wider than the top – typically by about 1 inch for every foot of height. Use a pencil or marker to make accurate markings on each leg.

Use a Pencil or Marker

Step 3: Set up the Table Saw

Attach a tapering jig to your table saw, and set the angle to match your desired taper. You can also use a miter gauge as an alternative if you don’t have a tapering jig available.

Step 4: Cut the First Side

With your materials and saw set up, it’s time to start cutting! Place one of the legs on the tapering jig or miter gauge, making sure that the marked line for the taper is aligned with the blade. Turn on the saw and carefully push the leg through until you reach the bottom.

Step 5: Flip and Cut the Other Side

Once you’ve cut one side of the leg, flip it over and repeat the process for the other side. This ensures that both sides are evenly tapered. Remember to always use safety goggles and ear protection while operating power tools.

Step 6: Repeat for All Legs

Continue cutting all the legs following the same steps until you have a set of uniformly tapered legs. Double-check your markings and measurements to ensure consistency.

Step 7: Sand the Legs

After cutting, there may be some rough edges or imperfections on the legs. Use sandpaper to smooth them out, starting with a low grit (60) and gradually working your way up to a higher grit (220).

Use Sandpaper to Smooth Them Out

Step 8: Assemble the Table

Once all the legs are tapered and sanded, it’s time to assemble your table! You can use wood glue or screws to attach the legs to the tabletop. If you’re using screws, be sure to pre-drill holes to prevent the wood from splitting.

Step 9: Apply a Finish

After assembling the table, apply any finish of your choice to protect and enhance the wood’s natural beauty. Popular options include stain, varnish, or paint. Follow the instructions on the product for best results.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Tapered Table!

Congratulations, you have successfully learned how to cut tapered table legs! Now, you can proudly display your beautiful piece of furniture in your home or office. With this technique, the possibilities are endless – you can create customized tables for any room or project.

Learning how to cut tapered table legs may seem daunting at first, but with these ten easy steps, you’ll be able to create professional-looking furniture pieces quickly. Just remember always to prioritize safety and accuracy when working with power tools. We hope this guide has been helpful and inspires you to get creative with furniture making!

8 Things You Should Avoid

While cutting tapered table legs may seem simple enough, there are a few things you should avoid to ensure the best results. Here are eight common mistakes to avoid:

1. Using Low-quality or Warped Wood

Avoid using low-quality or warped wood, resulting in uneven and unstable legs. Always choose high-quality, straight boards for the best results.

2. Not Measuring Accurately

Remember always to measure twice and cut once! Inaccurate measurements can lead to crooked or mismatched legs. Use a measuring tape or ruler for precise markings.

Remember Always to Measure Twice

3. Not Using Safety Equipment

Always wear safety goggles and ear protection when operating power tools. This protects your eyes and ears from flying debris or loud noises.

4. Neglecting to Sand the Legs

Skipping the sanding step can result in rough, uneven surfaces on your legs. Take the time to sand each leg for a smooth finish properly.

5. Rushing the Cutting Process

Taking your time when cutting tapered legs is essential, as rushing can lead to mistakes and uneven cuts. Be patient and work at a comfortable pace.

6. Using Incorrect Angles

Double-check the angle on your tapering jig or miter gauge before cutting. An incorrect angle can result in mismatched legs.

7. Not Pre-drilling Holes for Screws

If using screws to attach the legs, always pre-drill holes to prevent the wood from splitting. This will also make it easier to screw in the legs.

8. Skipping the Finishing Step

Applying a finish protects the wood and enhances its natural beauty. Skipping this step can result in your furniture piece’s unfinished and dull appearance.  By avoiding these common mistakes and following our 10-step guide, you can confidently create beautifully tapered table legs for your next woodworking project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Cut Tapered Table Legs?

The time it takes to cut tapered table legs will vary depending on the number of legs and your experience level. On average, it can take anywhere from 1-2 hours. However, taking your time and not rushing the process for the best results is essential.

Can I Taper Legs on Both Sides?

You can taper legs on both sides for a more dramatic look. Simply flip the leg over after cutting one side and repeat the process on the other side. Just be sure to use the same angle for consistency.  With some practice and patience, cutting tapered table legs can become an enjoyable and rewarding woodworking skill.

Do I Need Special Tools to Cut Tapered Table Legs?

While having a tapering jig or miter gauge will make the process easier, you can also use a circular saw with a guide or hand plane to achieve tapered legs. However, using specialized tools will ensure more accurate and consistent cuts.

Use the Same Angle for Consistency

Can I Use Any Type of Wood for Tapered Table Legs?

Yes, you can use any type of wood for tapered table legs. However, choosing high-quality, straight boards is essential to prevent uneven or unstable legs. Hardwood such as oak, maple, or cherry is commonly used for furniture making.  Softer woods like pine may be less durable but can still be used for a more rustic or budget-friendly look. 

Ultimately, the type of wood you choose will depend on your personal preference and the style of your project.  Happy woodworking, and have fun creating beautifully tapered table legs!


As you can plainly see, cutting tapered table legs is surprisingly simple. Whether you want to make unique furniture pieces or give existing pieces a modern twist, they are far easier to create than you may have thought. Take that step into the unknown and use this guide as your road map. Now that you’ve learned how to cut tapered table legs, you can confidently tackle any furniture project with tapered legs.

Remember always to prioritize safety and accuracy when working with power tools and take your time to ensure the best results. With practice, you’ll be able to create professional-looking furniture pieces quickly. 

If you put in the effort and use the right tools, you can successfully craft elegant and stylish tapered table legs no matter your experience level. So go out there and start building your masterpiece – endless possibilities!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

Leave a Comment