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Cherry Ball and Claw Foot Coffee Table

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Project by DustyMark posted 705 days ago 2784 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, Minnesota





15 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3590 posts in 2211 days


#1 posted 705 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 706 days


#2 posted 705 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, Minnesota

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2640 posts in 2348 days


#3 posted 705 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

1437 posts in 1576 days


#4 posted 705 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

1308 posts in 1966 days


#5 posted 704 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

1785 posts in 826 days


#6 posted 704 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

6928 posts in 1550 days


#7 posted 704 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

507 posts in 1326 days


#8 posted 704 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

4510 posts in 928 days


#9 posted 704 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

333 posts in 1247 days


#10 posted 704 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

916 posts in 1018 days


#11 posted 704 days ago

Just beautiful work. Great piece of furniture.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1311 posts in 1445 days


#12 posted 704 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 963 days


#13 posted 703 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

1106 posts in 1175 days


#14 posted 698 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 1456 days


#15 posted 695 days ago

Wow! Incredible work, and great detailed carvings.

-- Cody - Salt Lake City, UT

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