Traditional legs

Various other traditional leg shapes are shown in 198. Figure 198:1 is the plain turned Jacobean leg; 198:2 shows the twist, both of which were a feature of oak-work. Part of the twist (198:2) can be done on a slow-running lathe, but the normal procedure in handwork is to turn a cylinder to contain the twist and, while it it still in the lathe, wrap a piece of string tightly round it, spiral fashion. A pencil is then drawn along the string and the spiral sawn down just short of its greatest depth with shallow cuts either side. The hollowing is then done with suitable gouges and rasps. A typical inverted cup leg of the Walnut period is shown in 198:3 built up of sections to save wood, with the spigot ends in the thinner sections entering suitable holes in the thicker; alternatively side pieces can be glued on to a central shaft to form the cup, but the differing grain patterns will show. Figure 198:4 is the Flemish Scroll leg sawn out of the solid and cross veneered, and 198:5 the hock leg. Both types are intrinsically weak in the grain and modern practice would prefer a laminated construction, either of three equal sections glued together with grains slightly opposed, or two sections sawn from one thickness to preserve the run of the grain and a thin central veneer with grain opposed. Figure 198:6 is a typical Hepplewhite cabriole leg in the French fashion; 198:7 an eighteenth-century mahogany leg with inlaid panel of contrasting veneer edged with a boxwood line; 198:8 shows a fluted leg and 198:9 a plain recessed leg in the Adams style. Figures 198:10, 11 are both Sheraton, the former almost contemporary in appearance, and the latter turned and reeded in th& cup. These curved reeds must be carved by hand, and 199 shows a similar operation to part of a mace stand made some years ago in the writer's workshops. Many of these leg patterns are still used in reproduction-work, but apart from this they can still serve as an inspiration to modern designers, for all have an intrinsic lightness and grace.

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The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

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