Philadelphia Chippendale Stool

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Project by chobbs66 posted 569 days ago 1547 views 10 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a carved mahogany stool, which I built (and taught others to build) for a class with the Kansas City Woodworker’s Guild in 2012. The details are meant to be Philadelphia Chippendale, but this was not a reproduction of any particular piece. I found that I learned a ton having to prepare to teach a class, and that the quality of my work was improved because of the students watching, many of whom were advanced woodworkers.

The joinery and feet were essentially finished before my company send me on the road, so while I was in my hotel room last summer I carved the shells, completed all the carvings and surface prep, and applied the shellac. Thankfully I was never kicked out due to wood chips in the carpet!

Credit to Wesley Lewis Jr. who is a great photographer for the pictures.

Hope you all enjoy, and thanks for checking it out. Cal

22 comments so far

View Jeff_in_KCMO's profile


146 posts in 975 days

#1 posted 569 days ago

and there it is… very nice. i’m starting to carve more these days… i wish there was some more formal/class/shop experience/tutelage available in the KC area because I would love to make this a marketable hobby



271 posts in 638 days

#2 posted 569 days ago

Very nice craftsmanship, beautiful piece.

View MolokMot's profile


122 posts in 962 days

#3 posted 569 days ago

Wow, that is very nice. Someday I plan on making one of those.

I have always wondered, what makes it specifically Philadelphia vs the other major wood working hubs at the time? Something to do with the style of the claw?

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

View chobbs66's profile


39 posts in 2185 days

#4 posted 569 days ago

Thanks Jeff. In case you guys need a reference, Jeff was in the class, his excellent “bench” version can be seen here:

You never know, there may be opportunities in the future to do some more classes at the Guild. I’ll let you know if something comes up!

View chobbs66's profile


39 posts in 2185 days

#5 posted 569 days ago


Well, the characteristics were well defined in several areas, basically Philadelphia, New York, Newport, Boston, and “the South.” Of course there were all kinds of variations, but there were common characteristics which would deserve a long discussion. But here’s a quick primer.

1. Philadelphia – Somewhat pronounced talons, slightly compressed ball, some webbing. Usually short actual claws.

2. New York – Very squarish, boxy talons, some similarities to Philly.

3. Newport – No webbing, much leaner and animalistic talons, elongated claws, sometimes undercut.

4. Boston – Usually more delicate, side talons swept backwards.

5. Southern – lots of variations, sometime Charleston were very “New York” in character. Basically whatever was stylish in England at the time.

Hope this is slightly helpful to start. Cal

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2614 days

#6 posted 569 days ago

Beautiful job!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View helluvawreck's profile


15627 posts in 1501 days

#7 posted 569 days ago

Another outstanding piece. You have a lot of talent.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View a1Jim's profile


112020 posts in 2212 days

#8 posted 569 days ago

Very impressive ,great job and interesting details about ball n claws too.

-- Custom furniture

View SteveGaskins's profile


256 posts in 1222 days

#9 posted 569 days ago

Incredible build….Love it.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View kdc68's profile


1964 posts in 911 days

#10 posted 569 days ago

Outstanding craftsmanship and great information on ball and claw

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Woodbridge's profile


2672 posts in 1053 days

#11 posted 569 days ago

beautiful piece. Your carving is great. Its still on my list to try my hand at a ball and claw foot. Thanks for your example, and also explanation of the various styles. great project and interesting post.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Maveric777's profile


2690 posts in 1711 days

#12 posted 569 days ago

Love it!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2419 posts in 2227 days

#13 posted 569 days ago

You did a Excellent job on this Chippendal Stool.

-- Dennis Zongker

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


925 posts in 989 days

#14 posted 569 days ago

very nice

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2640 posts in 2347 days

#15 posted 569 days ago

Beautiful stool! Thanks for the mini-tutorial on ball and claw feet.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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