A Jig for Cutting Flutes and Reeds
A shopmade lathe accessory lets you cut precise flutes and reeds in tapered Federal-style legs
Born in South Africa, John Gush now lives near Chicago, where he makes custom period furniture. Most of his pieces are in the American Federal style. Leg designs are one hallmark of Federal furniture: Slender, tapered, often adorned with flutes and reeds along their length.
To produce these distinctive legs, Gush devised his own router jig that works in conjunction with a lathe. Constructed of electrical conduit, MDF, and Plexiglas, the jig can be adjusted in several ways so that the router follows the taper of the legs exactly.
In this exclusive video, Gush demonstrates the jig’s versatility. He also shows how to enhance the router-cut shapes with a scratch stock and gouges so that the legs have a handmade appearance.