A Quick Tip for Concealing Joints on Legs

This is a quick tip for concealing the joints on legs. Many times, I use a two piece leg for my projects. I like the look, and they are easy to mill from smaller stock. This saves money, and gives a larger look even though smaller boards are used. The trick to making them look like they are from one board is to conceal the joint.

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The Trick to Concealing Leg Joints

concealing jointsThis is the end view of one of the legs that I made for a portable kitchen island for my wife. She was asking for more counter space, so I made a portable island with a pallet wood looking top.

The two pieces that form the leg are joined with a butt joint, which is glued and brad nailed. The width of the leg is 4″ on each side.

This means that one piece is cut to 4″ and the other to 3-1/4″ to make up for the extra 3/4″ thickness from the second piece in the butt joint.

You can easily see that the joint would be visible without the small trick that I am sure you have already figured out by seeing the picture. 

All you need to do is run a small dado with a single table saw blade right over where the joint is. This adds detail to the leg, and it also hides the joint between the pieces.

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I do this on both sides of my legs, so that the look seems intentional rather than to conceal anything. The simple line accent of the small dado adds to the look, and conceals the joint at the same time. This is a win win.

Making the Cuts on Your Legs

concealing jointsTo make the cuts for concealing the joints, you only need to know what thickness of wood you are using. In this case, the boards are all 3/4″ thick. This helps you set your fence.

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You can make your cuts a couple ways and still get the same effect. The important thing is that you destroy the joint line between the pieces.

If you are concerned about your marksmanship on the table saw, or you have boards that are not super straight, simply shoot for the middle.

Set up the fence so that your glue line is right in the middle of a standard table saw blade, and set the depth for 1/8″. Then, send it through on both faces to make the cuts.

If you have a nice straight piece, you can get a little more crafty and make the joint completely disappear. Measure so that the edge of the blade farthest from the fence is exactly the same as the thickness of the material.

This will, in effect, saw almost right next to the joint. It ends up burying the glue line at the bottom corner of the dado, making it nearly invisible unless you stick your face right in it.

To make this happen, you will need to have a good setup on the table saw, and your pieces will need to be nice and straight. However, the payoff is worth it with a joint that is darn near invisible in the end.

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If you like more woodworking tips, I have a free PDF download with 50 great woodworking tips that you can see in another post.

If you have any questions on A Quick Tip for Concealing Joints on Legs, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends online. It helps me reach more beginning woodworkers, and introduce them to the craft. Happy building.

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