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Cherry Ball and Claw Foot Coffee Table

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Project by DustyMark posted 674 days ago 2658 views 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Completed March 2006. This cherry ball and claw foot coffee table with shell carvings on the knees and apron rails was the ultimate carving challenge for me. I started by carving a prototype leg from basswood. I was so intimidated about carving four matching legs from expensive 12/4 cherry, that I put off the project for about six months. Once I finally engaged on the project, I completely enjoyed my evenings spent in my then basement shop. I used Rockhard Tabletop varnish since I didn’t want to “baby” it. That perhaps made it a little too glossy…so many compromises. My late wife didn’t like the style since the legs were too life-like. After being widowed and remarried, my new wife didn’t like it either, so I gave it to a very good friend. It matches some high-end period pieces he already owned quite well. I enjoy carving this type of furniture, but lean towards using shaker style pieces in my home!

-- Mark, Florida





15 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3567 posts in 2180 days


#1 posted 674 days ago

Beautiful job on that carving. The ball and claw legs came out very nice.

And welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Having fun...Eric

View DustyMark's profile

DustyMark

271 posts in 675 days


#2 posted 674 days ago

Thanks. Cherry held detail quite well, but it was a pretty hard wood to carve large areas such as these legs. An old Fine Woodworking video guided me through the legs. I found a good book on shell carving and a study cast that guided me through the shells on the knees and the apron rails.

-- Mark, Florida

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2604 posts in 2317 days


#3 posted 674 days ago

Mark,

What a lovely table! We’d love to have a friend like you. ;-)

Welcome to LJs.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View mbs's profile

mbs

1423 posts in 1545 days


#4 posted 674 days ago

Very nice.

I wish I had your carving skills.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Spoontaneous's profile

Spoontaneous

1286 posts in 1935 days


#5 posted 674 days ago

Thank you so much for making this for me! <jk> Very nicely done. I wouldn’t know where to start on a project like this.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1751 posts in 795 days


#6 posted 674 days ago

This is one magnificent piece of furniture. Great workmanship on the entire table, especially the carvings. You have great attention to details. Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1519 days


#7 posted 674 days ago

Well I would have “kept” the table and…

Great job! I am jealous of your talents.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Julian's profile

Julian

495 posts in 1295 days


#8 posted 673 days ago

You did a great job carving those legs. I wouldn’t have been able to give away a project that required so much work.

-- Julian

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4380 posts in 897 days


#9 posted 673 days ago

Really like what you’ve done here and the B&Cs are very, very nice and are round, not egg shaped or squashed. I started playing with carving B&C last winter and really appreciate your work. Overall the piece is outstanding, but I understand that it just doesn’t fit with all decors and see the wisdom of you enjoying the construction and then giving it someone to enjoy on an everyday basis.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

331 posts in 1216 days


#10 posted 673 days ago

Great looking table. Those feet look GREAT!!

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View dnick's profile

dnick

892 posts in 987 days


#11 posted 673 days ago

Just beautiful work. Great piece of furniture.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1292 posts in 1414 days


#12 posted 673 days ago

Nice work. I like the way that chamfer transends to the volute which is uncommen with the ball and claw but looks like it worked !JB

View MolokMot's profile

MolokMot

122 posts in 932 days


#13 posted 672 days ago

Incredible table! I really like the style and hope to some day be able to make furniture of that caliber!

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

View Philip's profile

Philip

1086 posts in 1144 days


#14 posted 667 days ago

Amazing. Life-like is what it’s all about, that and scaring little children who have watched Beauty and the Beast…

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

View CodyM's profile

CodyM

48 posts in 1425 days


#15 posted 664 days ago

Wow! Incredible work, and great detailed carvings.

-- Cody - Salt Lake City, UT

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