Author Topic: Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?  (Read 4235 times)

awleonard

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Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?
« on: June 12, 2009, 03:54:24 PM »
I've hacked out about a dozen legs, but I still am not real confident in a technique to finish the corner where the knee and post meet.  Off the bandsaw, it is quite rough.  Trying to get a reasonably flat post and then finish the curve of the knee into the corner is quite challenging and I haven't settled on a technique.  I'm still just hacking it out best I can. 

Any tips?

Thanks,

Tony

This is the current project.  A curly maple tea table.  I'm ready to start cleaning up the knees and posts. 

Tom M

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Re: Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 04:38:57 PM »
I would leave the square part of the legs slightly oversized (bandsaw proud of your marking gage line), and then use the front and side of the frame as reference planes for paring after glue-up.  Then work the knee into the corner.

(Your table looks nice.  How is working in curly maple?)

Tom
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

dkeller_nc

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Re: Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 11:44:08 AM »
Tony - I use hand tools to do the smoothing of cabriole legs, so I'm not sure what the power tool equivalent would be.  To flatten/smooth the square portion of the leg and fit them to the apron so that the surfaces are flush, I use a #3 smoothing plane used cross-grain with the leg clamped to the bench top.  That doesn't take care of the corners, of course, so I use one of two tools depending on the grain orientation - either a Lie-Nielsen rabbet block plane used cross-grain, or a L-N chisel plane with the grain (referencing off of the previously planed upper square surface of the leg).

To smooth the curve of the top of the leg itself to the corner of the knee, I use a combination of rasps, files, and finally scrapers.  Works pretty well and pretty quickly and gives a crisper result than using sandpaper as a wood-removal tool (as opposed to just finishing the surface).

Planing cross-grain leaves a somewhat fuzzy surface, though it eliminates the problem of tear-out.  Following the plane, I use a square cabinet scraper to smooth things down in preparation for the finish.

Hope this helps

Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

frangallo

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Re: Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 09:07:03 PM »
I may be preaching to the choir here, but I have become addicted to making large quantities of "emery boards" to finish flat and curved surfaces. I just made a bunch of Queen Anne stools and roughed out the upper corner proud of the line with the bandsaw,carved the leg and then finished the upper surfaces where the flat rails meet the leg with these boards. I make these using quarter inch or 3/8 " chunks of what I refer to as "pus"-(MDF scraps). I cut a bunch of these and glue sandpaper to them with 3M spray adhesive. I try to have a few dozen of these on hand and by simple practice I can recognise the ones with 120 grit on one side and 150 grit on the other. I even have a few as course as 60 grit. In any event, in the case of the QA stools, I used these boards to finish shaping the apron to the corner and found that after bringing the flat to the rough rounded edge of the leg, it was easy to use the same boards to round out the corners. They came out pretty good. If you want to have a look go to www.townsendreproductions.com and look for currently on sale or something like that. Any how the stool is there with the detail of the corner. I do not intend to denigrate the use of actual tools, as dkeller, suggests, but I have learned a few short-cuts having worked in production shops and merely wish to pass them on. My teacher, David Powell, an apprentice of David Barnsley, would no doubt roll over in his grave at my suggestions. But we have available to us many materials and techniques today that the cabinet maker of yore never dreamed of. Sandpaper being one of them. While strongly adherent to traditional methods of cabinet making myself, I find no reason to suffer when an expedient method presents itself. Any-who, I hope this is helpful to you.
Tinkerty-tonk
Fran
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

awleonard

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Re: Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 03:02:01 PM »
Thanks for the help!

I did bandsaw outside my scribed line as I was taught.  I left just under a sixteenth probably.  I then removed some of that before I glued up, just so I wasn't trying to hog off a large amount once things were assembled.  My apron starts 3 ?/? from the top of the post, but I think I may have to go a little further (a sixteenth) to get a clean line due to some sloppy bandsawing.  No problem there. 

I got the candle slide slots routed out yesterday.  I also finished the mortises for the candle slide rails.  I hope to bandsaw the apron patterns on the aprons this week.  I'm following along three or four different articles/books as I go. 

Tom, working the curly maple is tough!  Lots of tear out.  Not big chunks, but small areas.  I'm anxious about shaping the skirts.  I'm afraid I'll get lots of tear out.  I'm going to remove as much material as I can at the TS or the BS and then finish the curve by hand.  Wish me luck!  I'll sharpen everything before I start.  I just hope my mistakes and lack of skill don't overcome the beautiful wood! 

Fran, I have sandpaper and I'm not afraid to use it!  I've noticed areas on my other projects at this "juntion" that I didn't see before.  There was some tearout in the endgrain.  When I was roughing out the legs, I noticed that I could angle the scraper just right and get a pretty decent cut in that area.  Guess I'll try a little of everything and hope it goes ok.  Sounds like Mr. Keller's technique is kinda what I have done before. 

Thanks very much for the help all.  I'll need plenty more on this one!  Still trying to figure out how I'm going to make the tray molding. 

Tony

jdavis

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Re: Cabriole legs - knee/post corner?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 10:35:57 PM »
Fran said: "we have available to us many materials and techniques today that the cabinet maker of yore never dreamed of. Sandpaper being one of them"

Hey Fran, thanks for all the good suggestions. I've been curious about sandpaper and glass paper since its use came up once at a CW conference. Nearly each time that I go to CW, I ask Jay if any new info has been found. If I remember correctly, he said an inventory was done in 1802 for a cabinetmaker, 20 years after he died. The assumption was that the shop had remained in tact since 1780ish.  The 1802 inventory list included sandpaper so it would have been in use then (1780). He also said they found advertising in the colonies for either glass or sandpaper ( I dont recall which) and the date was also around the 1780's.  My gut feel, with nothing to back it up, is that the more successful cabinetmakers might have used it in the big cities, just like they were buying other surface treatments (inlays etc). Maybe Job Townsend didn't use it, and probably didnt need to, but maybe Edmund did!
John