Oval Chippendale Stool
The curved frame and the carved cabriole legs come together with simple joinery
Synopsis: Period furniture maker Randall O’Donnell shows how this small stool doesn’t require a lot of material, but it shows off a lot of Colonial Philadelphia hallmarks: finely carved feet on graceful legs tenoned into a thin curved frame, topped off with an upholstered slip seat. He starts by making full-sized patterns and a rabbeting template (template drawings are included in the article). Next, he joins a rectangular frame and shapes the oval. He uses a bandsaw to cut the cabriole legs and turns the tenon on a lathe. A photo sequence details how he carves a ball-and-claw foot. He then fits the knee blocks and fairs the upper legs before finishing the piece.
It’s real easy to get excited about making a stool like this. Compressed into this little gem are the chief hallmarks of the Colonial Philadelphia chair makers: finely carved feet on graceful legs tenoned…