I had thought about walnut legs, but the walnut I had just wasn't quite good enough. Also, I do want them black (dyed) and the maple I have will work fine. I have to mill up four blanks that are fairly straight-grained and at least 2" square. Then I will turn them into round blanks.
First, I have to work up the details in the legs. About the only thing is know at this point is the length and largest diameter. The legs will splay 5 degrees in both directions, and there is a 2.5 degree taper to the leg as it passes through the top and bottom of the desk. There is a lot going on and I have to get everything looking great because it all shows. This is what I need to achieve.
What I need to know is the location and size of each hole as it passes through the desk. I need another jig.
This jig is a mock-up of the desk; 3/4" thick with the exact spacing. By laying out a 5 degree line on the jig I found that the holes will shift 5/8". By measuring along the length of the reamer at the location spacing I found the size of the hole at both locations. I used a smaller bit and drilled the holes and then ran the reamer though to achieve the taper.
Now I can lay out the leg. It looks like this after I enter all of the things I know and got the shape I want.
There are two challenges with these legs - getting them the same and getting the taper to fit tightly in both holes. To have the best chance of getting them the same I began with a template with all the about on it so I could mark each blank.
That looks like this an ensures that I don't make a mistake. Next, I'll bring down the leg to each of those measurements and then join them with long flowing arches.
Once I turned leg down I got a good fit in the taper. Thinking about it, I decided to now drill the desktop and bottom. I will need to fit each leg to each set of holes. I will get a better fit and now I know how everything will come together. I just need to decide exactly where the holes will be located.
Before calling it a day, I sealed the inside of the bottom. I won't be able to get to it once the desk is glued up and I don't want to leave it raw. The outside won't look like this. I'll put another coat on tomorrow.