Smoothing the Top Blocks on Cabriole Legs
Since the out-facing top blocks of cabriole legs are typically bandsawed to shape, they require some smoothing. This is a challenge, because the knee section sticks up. You can use a rasp or rabbeting plane and sandpaper, but I have an easier method. Clamp the leg between dogs on your bench. Be sure the block section is parallel with the benchtop. Place two cauls parallel with the leg, one on each side. These cauls need to be taller than the top of the knee. Clamp two more cauls on top of and at right angles to the first two, positioning one so that it will stop the travel of your router base at the junction of the knee and the block. Rout the leg flat with a straight bit, then sand lightly to smooth. Rotate the leg 90° and smooth the other outside face.
Larry Haywood, Cle Elum, WA