Finishing up the Cabriole leg

We’re back.  Turn the lathe back on and let’s get to work.

Now we want to make a nice clean skew cut to define the top of the foot from a line created by the “toe” of the foot.  This will help us in finishing the upper foot surface and the ankle.

Cut the diameter of the pad with a parting tool.  Diameter isn’t critical here, as this is the first of four legs.  Of course on 2,3, and 4, you’ll have to get out the calipers.

After the pad is defined, we simply have to connect the upper and lower points of the foot with a nice sharp spindle gouge.  (You can use a larger shallow gouge if you prefer.  But be warned that you may strike the ankle area.  This, however, is not a huge problem.  Just give a care.)

While the leg is still on the lathe, you can begin to define the “ankle” area with a rasp.  (A Nicholson 49 or 50 works well for this shaping and, of course, there’s nothing quite like an Ariou, for those who are really serious about their tools.)

The front and rear arrises are softened while the side arrises should be kept fairly sharp.  It is the arris at each side that defines the shape and provides the “shadow lines” of the leg.

The leg is placed in a bar clamp.  This allows us to hold the workpiece securely while we finish the top of the foot.

Well that’s enough for this session.  We’ll finish up the leg tomorrow.


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