Carving a ball and claw foot is something I’ve been planning to do for awhile now. Maybe some of you are in the same boat. Here is my progress to date. I’ve cut out a practice lowboy leg in basswood and I’m getting ready for a quiet moment to get out the carving tools. But already, I discovered that just cutting out the profile on the bandsaw was a bit trickier than I had expected. I found that it was easy to overcut even when I thought I had sufficiently stopped short.
But overall, I’m pretty pumped by the instruction I’ve gotten from Mary May on a DVD and by what Chuck Bender, via Popular Woodworking, teaches on shaping the cabriole leg. I think it will be great to master this leg. I’m also excited because I obtained a small amount of 12/4 honduras mahogany. So once I feel good about the work I do on the basswood practice leg(s), I’ll be ready to carve the ball and claw foot in mahogany. Once I get the four legs done, the challenge will be to decide whether to go with african mahogany for the rest of the project (exluding the shell part) or to do the whole project in honduras mahogany. Any advice of that aspect? Note that I am planning to stain the piece to obtain the look of an 18th century piece.