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Shaping Cabriole Legs

Careful layout helps make graceful legs with smooth curves


Nothing symbolizes 18th-century furniture more than the cabriole leg, and it’s easy to make, says Lonnie Bird. In this article, he shows how to establish proportions, make a template, choose leg stock, transfer the layout and bandsaw the stock, and turn the foot on the lathe. Cabriole legs can vary quite a bit in form; Bird includes examples of several leg templates, explains what factors make a well-proportioned leg, and discusses various feet of that era. He demonstrates how to bandsaw the basic leg shape, lay out the stock, turn the pad, shape the leg, and carve the foot by hand.

Lonnie Bird  is an author and  woodworking instructor. Visit him online at  www.lonniebird.com .

From Fine Woodworking #144

From Fine Woodworking #144, pp. 44

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