Philadelphia lowboy

bsutton

Member
I am starting a lowboy based on a photo.  I plan to have acanthus style carvings on the front leg knees which will flow into the transition blocks.  Since I am lacking a side view I don't know how transition blocks are handled on the rear legs.  I am not planning to carve the rear legs so I am not sure how the transition blocks are accomplished - plain?
Ay suggestions would be appreciated.
 

ttalma

Well-known member
I have seen both, plain and carved. But I have seen many more plain than carved.

On the very rear of the chest (the part that goes against the wall) I don't recall ever seeing the block added.
 

bsutton

Member
Thanks.  I assume that the shape of the block would be the same, just plain.  I didn't plan to add any on the back
 

Jeff L Headley

Well-known member
The rear side knee blocks would be applied in the same manner as the front face and side blocks. None on the back side (wall side) as already posted. Happy new year!!! How have you planned on applying your knee blocks? They must fit!!! With a good fit a rub joint should suffice. Clamps can be added but if needed, check your fit!!! If it doesn't fit it will fail!!!
Make a cradle to rest the bottom of your knee block in. Put the block against you leg and side rail, trace around the curve and then saw the curve on your band saw ( if you have a band saw and wood like to use a machine). Capture the block so it doesn't move and always keep you fingers at least 3" away from the blade.
 
It is quite  rare to find knee returns on the backs of Philadelphia high chests and dressing tables but it has occurred. This well made matching high chest and table have them. One of the returns is missing on the high chest.

Chris
 

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bsutton

Member
Hi Jeff.  Hope all is well with you and Steve.  I guess my question is - do I carve the rear side knee blocks or leave them plain.  Leaving it plain looks a little odd but since I don't plan to carve the leg except for the ball & claw, I didn't see any simple way to make it work otherwise.  Interesting in the photos from Chris below that one builder carved half a leg.
 
The choice to carve or not carve the rear leg is, of course, up to you. If you could post a photo of the table I may be able to help determine if the table you wish to reproduce has the rear legs carved. There were three ways rear legs of dressing tables and high chests were treated. They could be left uncarved - the first two attached images show tables with uncarved knees, the first table with a highly ornament front but still no rear leg carving (actually, both these "tables" are high chest bases that have lost their upper cases). Second, the sides of the rear legs were carved to the same pattern as the front, the back of the legs were never carved, see the third image. Third, the carving on the return on the front legs was distinctly designed and the knee return design was carved on the sides of the rear legs, with no carving on the knee or leg.
 

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Jeff L Headley

Well-known member
It ends up to be your desire. Carved back legs are seen on the façade side. What do you want? We have carved many exposed sides of back legs. Embellishment happens. Where to draw the line. The same consideration should be considered on the back side of head bed posts. Who will pay you to add embellishment to parts that will not get seen???
 
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