A Claw & Ball Foot in SketchUp

comments (0) August 20th, 2011 in blogs

Killenwood Tim Killen, contributor
thumbs up 7 users recommend

David Heim, the editor of my eBook on SketchUp, has recently sent me a method of making the claw and ball feet so typical of 18th Century furniture. His method was much easier that I had envisioned, so I quickly tried it out on a block front chest with success.

Dave starts with the leg profile that includes the talons, but without the ball. This is a trick that I had not considered, and simplifies the following operations.

Here is Dave's process as he used on a Corner Chair shown in an old Fine Woodworking magazine.

Step 1: Scan the leg profile image, and trace over the leg shape.


Step 2: Extrude, copy, and rotate. Then use Intersect command.


Step 3: Remove waste and clean-up


Step 4: Draw the Ball profile.


Step 5: Extrude the ball using the Follow Me Tool


Step 6: Tweak the ball using Move and Scale Tools

Step 7: Soften edges with the Soften/Smooth Edges command.


I think these few steps produce a remarkably good representation. Thanks to Dave…… and here is his completed SketchUp model of the corner chair.



posted in: blogs, chair, chippendale

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker

About Design. Click. Build.

Learn the art and science of designing furniture in SketchUp with Fine Woodworking's official blog. Moderated by a devoted community of woodworkers, we feature step-by-step SketchUp tutorials on designing components, downloads of pre-built 3D models of furniture parts, and news and information about the evolving world of digital furniture design.

Buy the Video
Don't miss Dave Richard's brand-new DVD/video download, The Basics.

Buy the Book
Get Tim Killen's popular eBook, the Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers.

Basic SketchUp Tutorials 
Learn the basics of building furniture in SketchUp with these classic posts from the Design. Click. Build. blog.

Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp
How I Draw in SketchUp
Axes in SketchUp
The SketchUp Move Tool
The SketchUp Rotate Tool
The SketchUp Scale Tool

Materials, Colors, and Textures
Applying Wood Grain Skins in SketchUp

Easy Dovetail Joints in SketchUp

Digital Project Plans

Download and modify SketchUp files for select projects from Fine Woodworking. View all.

Top Sellers:
Matt's Monster Workbench
New England Pine Cupboard
Garden Bench

Meet the Authors



I am a Biomedical Equipment Technician. I maintain anesthesia and respiratory equipment for the largest medical facility in southeast Minnesota. I...
view profile

Tim Killen

I am retired from Bechtel Corporation after 36 years in Engineering and IT management. I grew up among woodworking machinery in...
view profile


view profile