Dining Table and Chairs, Griffin Style Legs. #2: "Carving the Lower Flutes & Scrolls"

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Blog entry by Dennis Zongker posted 01-19-2013 11:54 PM 10579 reads 6 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: "Design and Glue Up." Part 2 of Dining Table and Chairs, Griffin Style Legs. series Part 3: Carving the Lion face and wing scrolls »

The first step in carving out the table legs I began with the side scrolls and front flutes at the bottom of the leg. Before I start carving I always hone or sharpen any knife I will be using that have any small chips in the edge. This will give you a nice clean smooth cut when carving. For the table legs I used Genuine Mahogany it is a great carving wood and I think it has a cleaner cut than basswood because of it’s tight grain.

To layout the legs I made a drawing template out of a poster board which is a thicker piece of paper for the pencil to follow when transferring it to the Mahogany. I used a cutting mat and scalpel to cut out the side and front templates. Using a template is an important step this will insure that all four table legs will match up to each other.

Thank you for looking, and happy woodworking.

Drawing the carving lines in with a pencil and template.

Completion of the pencil lines, ready for carving.

Stab cutting into the scroll lines, using a mallet to tap the knife into the wood about 1/8” deep. Use different carving knifes to match up to the radius.

Using a 12mm # 3 Fishtail carving knife to Relief cut up to the stab cut. Keep repeating these two steps, “Stab & Relief” cutting. Leaving the center of the scroll the highest point and carving deeper as you move outward around the scroll.

Matching up your knifes to the scroll, for carving in a reveal around the edge of the scroll.

Using a 20mm #2 carving gouge to flaten up to the end of the scroll.

Using a 18mm #18 Carving gouge to carve in the flutes into the face.

Using a 7mm #8a spoon gouge to carve in the lower flutes.

Using a 15mm #9 carving gouge to carve in the section of the flutes.

Stab cutting the side profile on the side of the leg.

Relief cutting out the sides.

Cleaning up the sides.

Putting a radius on the edges of the flutes. Using the carving knife upside down.

Putting a radius on the lower section of leg.

Smooth out the carving marks by using different files

The finished Lower section of one table leg.

-- Dennis Zongker

23 comments so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5024 days

#1 posted 01-20-2013 12:01 AM

This is great, Dennis. One of these days, I’ll get the carving tools (that you recommended to me a couple of years ago) out of the box and start making some shavings. Don’t think I’ll ever get to this level. Thanks for the instructional post.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 5065 days

#2 posted 01-20-2013 12:06 AM

As you already know….simply beautiful.
Thanks for allowing us to watch your progress.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View DocSavage45's profile


9070 posts in 4122 days

#3 posted 01-20-2013 12:20 AM

Nicely done. Sharp tools LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3765 days

#4 posted 01-20-2013 12:41 AM

That is exquisite.

-- Brian Timmons -

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8760 posts in 4078 days

#5 posted 01-20-2013 12:47 AM

You have me wanting to set up a leg and follow along Dennis.
Your clear photos and instructions make me think I may be able to do it.
Great teaching blog. Thank you.
I’m following intently.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3893 days

#6 posted 01-20-2013 01:05 AM

thanks Dennis ,been a admirer of your for a while ever sense i saw that chess table and chairs you built look forward to seeing the rest , a master of this craft is always good to watch ,thanks for sharing

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 4115 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 01:29 AM

Agree with paul, your use of pictures and description makes it feel like I could easily follow along.

-- A posse ad esse

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5131 days

#8 posted 01-20-2013 01:30 AM

That’s a great insight into carving. Thanks Dennis

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 5479 days

#9 posted 01-20-2013 02:02 AM

Dennis your talent is only exceeded by your willingness to share , you are an inspiration to all.

-- Billp

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4857 days

#10 posted 01-20-2013 02:05 AM

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4698 days

#11 posted 01-20-2013 02:08 AM

Awesome pictorial. Thanks for taking all the time to put this together. It is very enjoyable to see the project evolve.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5194 days

#12 posted 01-20-2013 02:08 AM

Hey, that looks easy! Yeah, right! I was holding my breath before looking at each picture.
I’ve tried a bit of carving and I have to stick to the rustic look to make it look liked my missed strokes were intentional!
Those are some steady hands, good eyes and sharp tools!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View tinnman65's profile


1417 posts in 4694 days

#13 posted 01-20-2013 02:15 AM

I agree you do make it look easy, a sign of a good instructor. I really look forward to seeing more.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5680 days

#14 posted 01-20-2013 02:33 AM

Wow. Too bad we didn’t have it as a video.

Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

522 posts in 4410 days

#15 posted 01-20-2013 03:27 AM

Great job Dennis thanks for the lessons.

-- Dale, Ohio

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