Router-Assisted Cockleshell Carving
A swinging jig shapes the interior and defines the flutes
Synopsis: Howard Wing figured out a router setup that could shape the basic spherical surface of a cockleshell as well as rough out the flutes. He developed a two-axis router jig to shape the interior of the shell and to define the flutes for the cabinet he built. He explains how to stack-laminate the shell by making a blank glued from brick-layered arches of decreasing diameter. Wing bandsawed the inner diameters and chiseled away enough material to provide clearance for the router jig. He explains how to build the jig and use it, and then details how he carved the flutes. Large drawings illustrate the jig and shell construction, and side information details how to glue up a shell with tapered segments.
The key to making a profit on a complicated piece like a shell-top cabinet is to control labor hours. When researching shell design before my first attempt at…