Article Suggestion


Well-known member
I can't tell you how many articles I have seen on making a cabriole leg.  But, I think there is a defficiency in what to do after you shape it!  Let me qualify this by stating that I am a rookie furniture builder.  I am completing the stool that was the subject of the Ball & Claw class at Phil Lowe's.  My one finished foot has been sitting with the rest of the components collecting sawdust for a few years and I finally decided to work on it.  Anyway.  I have it all glued up, but am having problems getting the post levelled down to the rails, getting the knee blocks on (what orientation, how to make them, etc.), and the best tools and approach to the final fitting and shaping.  Anyway, I think this area would make for a good article or two in an upcoming journal issue.  Meanwhile, any tips?

One particular issue I was having was that as I levelled the post, I was tearing out grain at the joint where the post and rail meet. 

When you say "leveling the post" do you mean squaring it?

Tearing out where the knee rolls into the straight post section is not uncommon. Light shearing cuts are made following the curve of the knee downward to the flat of the post. Tearing on the flat post section means that the grain is angling outward from the joint line. Trying to cut along the flat toward the knee is lifting the grain. Use a rasp to smooth the flat at the knee joint, then pull a sharp scraper from the joint line toward the top of the post.

Hope this helps,

Yes, that is what I meant with the post.  We bandsawed the post faces a sixteenth or so outside the marked line.  On another leg, we cut that same face on the tablesaw (for a dressing table - much taller post). 

Thanks!  I'll try that. 

Another question/observation.....I have seen knee blocks with grain running either way.  Some are parallel to the rail/apron and some are parallel to the leg. 
Both ways are correct. For strength alone, you would think the grain should be diagonal from apron to leg, but the look of the grain pattern was (and is) of great importance too.

Really, they are just large, fancy glue blocks. Don't over think it, do what feels right to your project.

Well, here is the stool.  Almost finished.  The knee blocks turned out ok.  One thing I tried this time is not trying to clamp them.  I used liquid hide glue and just rubbed them in real good and left them alone.  Seems to have worked. 



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Very nice work! Looks terrific.

I often use blue painter's tape to "clamp" such parts until they dry. Works surprisingly well.