The tools help design the carving
Synopsis: Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmaker Mack Headley explains how to make a leaf pattern on a cabriole leg adapted from one found on a chair from the 1740s. It’s a strong, uncomplicated design with bold reflective surfaces and flowing lines. He breaks the carving process into five steps: cut a full-leg template and mark out a design. Transfer another template to the leg. Cut vertical stop cuts on the leg around the perimeter of the design and carve out the background areas, incise the main shapes of the leaves, and add the veining and other detailing. Headley explains each step and tells you which tools help simplify the labor involved.
The leaf pattern on the cabriole leg shown here is an adaptation of one found on a chair from the 1740s. At that time in the United States, as well as in England, there was general agreement about what constituted…