Hand Tools & a Cabriole Leg

LegIf your shop is not equipped with a lathe of any kind, be it electric or human powered, you still have the ability to build Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture, including those that have cabriole legs. Yes, most of the work to shape the leg is done by hand, anyway, after the shape is sawn out. In most shops, however, the foot is turned at the lathe if it’s a pad foot and not of a trifid, Spanish or slipper design. In the video below, excerpted from my technique video “The Cabriole Leg” – a blast from my past, but still relevant woodworking information – you see the steps needed to produce the cup shape using only hand tools – possibly the way the work was completed in the period. I say possibly because the rasp I’m using in parts of the video was not around, at least to my knowledge, during the 1700s. Take a look. Build Something Great! — Glen

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3 thoughts on “Hand Tools & a Cabriole Leg

  1. Thanks, that was helpful!

  2. where can i find the video on how to turn the cabriole Leg.

    Thanks for your help

    1. Charles,

      If you’re talking about a true cabriole, then the turning portion is only done at the foot – the hand work as you watched in our free video is replaced with turning at a lathe. There are many DVDs that walk through the process. We have a couple in our store, including Chuck’s “Cabriole Legs Simplified” and my DVD on the “Massachusetts High Chest of Drawers.” If, on the other hand, you’re looking for information on a turned cabriole leg done with offset axes, we’ll need to put that on the list for a future article.

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