Marlborough Table Leg Plinths


New member
The plinths (blocks) on the bottom of Chippendale Marlborough straight legs are apparently solid blocks glued or pined to the bottom of the leg, right?  Did period makers of these legs ever create the plinth by applying thin wood around the bottom of the leg with miter joints at the corners?

Jerry Lauchle
Ones I've seen are applied molded pieces.  Not mitered. So side pieces would be applied, then pared flush to the leg.  Front and back would then be added, and pared flush. The molding details would then need to be carved to match.

You may be able to make this out in the attached picture, which I took of a cellaret at Independence Hall.


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I forgot to mention the molding pieces should be offset from the bottom of the leg - so the weight rests on the leg.
Thank you very much!  I built a Chippendale table with plinths a few years ago and did the plinths as you describe.  I am now confident that I used the right technique!
Most period table legs are flat (straight not mitered) joined with the glue joint exposed on the side. Mitered corners are rare.
Freddy, How are things going?
It is an interesting time to be building period furniture.
I have heard of and old Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times. Seems like we are all doing that today.
Best of luck.
I didn't mean to step on any toes.
What wood and region were your mitered corners? Grain exposure would certainly make a difference. Fancy grain maple in New England ? I once mitered Marlbourgh moldings for a Philadelphia table which I think was not done. Pain to fit the last 45 Straight grain mahogany blends in so no need for the miter.

Its too bad we live so far apart.  I'm doing well. Living the dream as some would say.  These are interesting times for sure. 

No worries there weren't any toes hurt.  The tables I saw the mitered foot was a New England Tiger Maple and a Philadelphia table. I wonder if we are speaking of the same ones.  I made a table in this style as a student long ago and I mitered the foot. Boy was it fun.

May 2016 bring you a ton of success.


Jack of all trades and master of none.