Cabriole leg project – “get your ears on”
Most information about crafting cabriole legs falls a little short when it comes to structure, application and shaping of the “ears” (never mind that the “ears” are right next to the “knees”. Come to think of it, I know of only one other situation where that could be the case, but I digress…). So we’re going to try to explain it as simply as we can.
First, you’ll want to cut the scrap “slabs” away from the posts. Bandsaw, bowsaw, panel saw – any of these will do;
Match mark the slabs as they’ll be used to make the “ears”.
Tape a piece of tracing paper (or card stock, etc.) to your table or benchtop. Hold the leg alongside and draw the ear shape that works best with your design.
Cut out the shape with a pair or scissors and glue it to a thin piece of plywood. After the glue has dried, cut the shape. Now you have your ear template. Each piece of slab stock will have one joined edge. Layout your ears in reference to that edge and insure the the rough sawn surface is pointing outward. REMEMBER, YOU’LL NEED RIGHT AND LEFT HAND EARS. Develop some type of marking system that allows you to know the correct location and orientation of the ear blanks. After you’ve got the blanks cut out (leave them a little long and make SURE THAT THE GRAIN DIRECTION IS CORRECT), put an apron section in place to support the ear, then you can mark the contours that will allow you to rough shape the ears before they’re glued in place.
That’s enough for today. We’ll finish up with the glue-up of the ears tomorrow.