Philadelphia Chippendale Stool

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Project by chobbs66 posted 02-07-2013 06:52 PM 3051 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_LSMO's profile


353 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 07:03 PM

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



280 posts in 2546 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 07:16 PM

Very nice craftsmanship, beautiful piece.

View MolokMot's profile


122 posts in 2871 days

#3 posted 02-07-2013 07:18 PM

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


42 posts in 4094 days

#4 posted 02-07-2013 07:39 PM

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


42 posts in 4094 days

#5 posted 02-07-2013 08:03 PM


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

6866 posts in 4523 days

#6 posted 02-07-2013 08:10 PM

Beautiful job!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3410 days

#7 posted 02-07-2013 08:32 PM

Another outstanding piece. You have a lot of talent.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4120 days

#8 posted 02-07-2013 08:49 PM

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

View SteveGaskins's profile


760 posts in 3130 days

#9 posted 02-07-2013 08:49 PM

Incredible build….Love it.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View kdc68's profile


2873 posts in 2820 days

#10 posted 02-07-2013 11:01 PM

Outstanding craftsmanship and great information on ball and claw

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Woodbridge's profile


3692 posts in 2961 days

#11 posted 02-07-2013 11:02 PM

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


2694 posts in 3620 days

#12 posted 02-07-2013 11:34 PM

Love it!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2797 posts in 4135 days

#13 posted 02-08-2013 12:56 AM

You did a Excellent job on this Chippendal Stool.

-- Dennis Zongker

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2898 days

#14 posted 02-08-2013 01:30 AM

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


3436 posts in 4256 days

#15 posted 02-08-2013 03:45 AM

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


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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