Shaping a Cabriole Leg
An easy job with files and rasps
Synopsis: Making matching cabriole legs seems to require genius, but Eugene E. Landon thinks they’re a breeze to make. Shaping the plain legs for a Queen Anne or Chippendale chair requires only rudimentary skills in spindle-turning and in the use of files, rasps, and scrapers. Landon explains how to prepare the blanks using a template and how to use a half-round rasp and a rat-tail rasp to shape them. He offers side information on how to build a Chippendale chair, and extensive drawings illustrate the process.
Many woodworkers are afraid of cabriole legs. There’s something intimidating about all those graceful interconnecting lines. And making matching pairs seems to require a touch of genius. In point of fact, however, cabriole legs are a breeze. I had my young helper, Joel Crabtrec, feeling guilty for awhile thinking I must have worked incessantly through the night to produce sets of legs for…