Redesigning the Classic Cabriole Leg
A simple design yields solid lessons on wood grain, color matching, and a whole lot more
Several months ago, Fine Woodworking executive art director Michael Pekovich set off to create an article that would demonstrate a variety of lessons on grain selection and color matching for the construction of fine furniture. What he came up with was a deceptively simple side table design that pulled all of its components from a single 8-ft. cherry board. By leveraging the way grain changes along the width of a board, Pekovich was able to pull riftsawn legs, plainsawn aprons, and a slip-matched top, all from the same board.
What began as a simple Shaker design sporting tapered legs, however, soon evolved into a smart contemporary table with an almost Asian flair. Gone were the traditional tapered legs that grace thousands of Shaker pieces. Instead, Pekovich pulled his inspiration from the classic cabriole leg that has become synonymous with Queen Anne furniture.
In this short video, Pekovich describes the evolution of his table’s design: how he got there, and why the table is so captivating. For anyone hoping to learn a bit about furniture design, it’s a must-see overview of what it takes to create a solid concept.