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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making a Cherry Chippendale Handkerchief Table - Carving Ball & Claw - Part 2

I have decided to carve the ball and claw feet on the legs next.  This is a little dangerous since I have not cut the mortises in the top of the legs yet.  Hope I don't screw it up after carving the ball and claw feet.

I have videos on youtube with time-lapse photos of carving the whole ball and claw if you want to watch them.  In this post I will just high light the steps.

I learned to carve the ball and claw from Mary May. If you really want to learn to carve a ball and claw take a lesson from her.    She has a plan which includes step by step pictures and tips on carving each step.  I follow her plan every time I carve one of these.

I layout the foot following her instructions but I have to reduce the sizes by an 1/8 inch since the foot for this table is 2 5/8 instead of the 2 3/4 inch on most feet.

This first step after layout is to carve a cylinder to the first circle line on the bottom.  Below is a picture of the first side being rounded over.  I am using a  1/2 inch flat chisel or a  1/2 inch #3
I set the lines in using a v chisel to start.

Below shows all 4 sides rounded over to a cylinder.

Using the square I check to see that the cylinder sides are flat and square to the bottom.

Now the feet or toes need to be trimmed back to the layout lines.

The next step is to find the center of the ball which about 7/8 inch from the bottom and round over the lower part of the ball to the second circle on the bottom of the foot.
Below I have rounded over the lower half of the first side using the plaster cast as a guide.

I can check the curve by using a molding gauge, I copy the curve from the plaster cast and match the carved ball. This helps me but most carvers wouldn't need it.

After rounding over the 4 lower areas of the ball, round over the top section of the ball. I am using a flat chisel or a #3 to do the carving.  Again I use my molding gauge to check the curve of the entire ball.

After carving the top sections of the ball, I work on creating the web.  I free hand the lines on leg to create a v shape while keeping the size of the toes equal all the way up.  I use a #7 or #8 to carve out the web.

This area of the foot is easier to carve if you have a spoon gouge but it can be done with out.

Now I start to round over the toes and create the talons.  You can exercise you artistic talent here and shape them to create different moods.  I use a flat, #5 and #3 to form the toes and talons.

I usually adjust the height of the knuckles to a little lower, I don't like them to stick out too much.

With the last toe carved I need to clean up the rough carving marks and blend it in to the upper part of the leg.

Here is the ball and claw after I have cleaned up the rough spots with files and blended it into the leg.
It would still need to be sanded.

Only 3 more to do.  I had better get  busy.

Here is today's video:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Making a Cherry Chippendale Handkerchief Table - Part 1

I have started a new project.  I found this table in the SAPFM members gallery and the data base.

As it turns out it is also in Norman Vandal's book Queen Anne Furniture, Norman received permission from Gene Landon to publish Gene's design from a 1985 Fine Woodworking article on making the Queen Anne Handkerchief table.

The original has pad feet but later Chippendale style tables had ball and claw feet. So that is what I am going to build from cherry.

I started by assembling my references, Norman's book, the Fine Woodworking article and the photo from the antiques data base.

I was able to blow up the drawings from Norman's book to full size, so I did not have to make my own full size drawings.

I started with the leg drawing and modified it to include the material for a ball and claw foot.  This leg and foot was almost identical to the leg and foot I used to make the Turret Top Tea Table in an earlier post here and on Youtube.

I had 4 leg blanks in cherry that had been sitting around my wood storage for years, so that helped influence my decision to make it from cherry.  These rough sawn where slightly under 3 inches but were quite a bit out of square.  They needed a lot of work to get square at 2 5/8 inches.

All squared up and marked with the pattern.  The extra material at the top will be cut off and used for the knee blocks.

Now for the band sawing of the cabriolet legs.  The pattern is applied on two adjacent sides. You cut out one, then tape it back together and cut out the other side.

Cutting out the second side after taping it back together.

Cut out legs and lots of clean up to do.

I have a number of Youtube videos which show clean up of cabriolet legs using a round bottom spokeshave, rasp and files.  The rasp and spokeshave remove the bandsaw bumps and get a nice smooth line to the shape of the leg.

Here I am using a number 50 Nicholson rasp to round over the sharp corners of the leg. The ankle of the leg is just about round at 1 inch.

Here I am using an almond shaped fine file to remove the tool marks from the rasp.

One done, looks pretty good.  I will carve the ball and claw now on this leg and then repeat the process on the other three legs.  This allows me to break up the tasks to keep it interesting, not the most efficient way but it keeps me out of the saloons.

Here is today's video: