How are these corbels made? What tools were used? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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How are these corbels made? What tools were used?

I am a very amateur woodworker.I am hoping to build a rustic farm table out of hand hewn barn beams I have, from a barn my kind neighbor let me take down.I noticed these mantles on eBay and the Corbels caught my eye.I would like to shape the heavy beam feet of this table like these corbels.What tools do you think they used? I can tell it was probably rough cut out on a bandsaw but I see other tool marks that give it a hand hewn look on the outer edge.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 09:41 AM
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For the most part they were cut with a bandsaw. Then to remove the saw marks they went over it with a large gouge with about a #2 sweep. Something like this in about 1" width. http://www.grizzly.com/products/Stra...ce=grizzly.com I'm sure there are much cheaper ones on ebay.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 10:05 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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they are separate pieces

They are not sawn from one beam, but are made using a bandsaw.
The handhewn look is only on the beam, not on the corbels. The handhewn marks are original from the old beams, not added afterward.

If you have a bandsaw you can make them quite easily, as you stated, from the beams you have. If you don't have a bandsaw or access to one, it will be difficult to make them using other means because of the thickness of the wood, about 5" or 6" .... guessing. If you are seriously getting into making these tables, a bandsaw would be a very good investment.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 10:28 AM
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Woodnthings, are you looking at the same photo we are? Those corbels have quite obvious chiselling marks on the front curves.

Anyway, DixieBonsai, I would agree with Steve in that they are likely rough cut on the bandsaw and finished with a large, wide gouge. That would make them easier to make than doing it all by hand tools alone. But you could do it with hand tools, if that was your preference. I have done such things a few times, long ago before I had any power tools to speak of.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 10:30 AM
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I am not disagreeing with the above comments, just making some observations.

With the picture enlarged, those look like single piece chunks and tool marks to me.
It appears they've been sculpted with chisels.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 10:34 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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you are correct

The OP wants to recreate the look of them, so whether they want to add the handhewn marks on the corbels is up the them. They may have been originally hand carved using no power tools at all, a time consuming and laborious process, which is why I suggested just using the bandsaw. I don't believe they were carved/sawn from one beam, but are separate pieces added to it.

those photos are from an Ebay source, not neccessarliy exactly what is needed or wanted.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 01:36 PM
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Hello DixieBonsai,

I have to make corbels all the time, except they are usually huge and structural to a frame...Often they are carved from single blocks of wood.

I am taking from your OP you are exploring methods to fabricate these yourself? The methods offered thus far is a common one in most shops that are just mostly power tool based...and for smaller Brackets forms of Corbels like these the Band Saw method will make relatively fast work of roughing in the shape you wish to have...If you have access to a bandsaw.

If you don't have access to these large shop tools there are efficient alternatives...and still in common use...Profile Kerfing:

1. You can use a Chainsaw. Please note: these are very dangerous tools if one is not accustomed to operating them. Please get qualified assistance in there safe and proper use or instruction!!

2. Much safer method (but not as fast of course) is to simply use a hand saw...This is still the most common method.

Both 1. and 2. are..."Kerfing Methods." With this method you take the stock of wood you are planning on making the bracket from and overlaying a template on its side that has the desired profile of shape you wish to have or replicate.

Once the profile from the template has been transcribed (drawn) onto the wood stock, It is a simple task of sawing to this line in 10mm to 20mm increments (this is the kerfing.)

I would share, as a wood carver from a family of carvers, that historically such work has always been done with hand tools for the most part. Even today (global perspective) it still is. So don't be discouraged if all you have is hand tools. The work will be slower (and safer) but the satisfaction much higher. In place of a Chainsaw, I suggest a Bow Saw or any sharp..."Pull Saw" that you can find that fits your grip well. Pull saws, in such work as this Profile Kerfing, function much better than push saws.

The below photos from my Bookmarks are the fastest I could scrounge up that might help illustrate what I described above...Good Luck.







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post #8 of 12 Old 03-23-2017, 02:33 PM
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I've used Jay's kerfing method quite a few times. No chainsaw so a bow saw did very well. The big Stubai wood carver's adze is a 7/75.
Thing that's what I'd pick up next to knock off the kerfings before using a big gouge (2/30) and a 30oz mallet.

The corbels in the OP look like they were contoured with a carver's adze. Smaller, like with the elbow adze and the D adze used here in the Pacific Northwest.
My striking accuracy isn't so great so the final shaping with a 2/30 instead would be fun.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-24-2017, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Jay C. White Cloud,Thank you sir, this was very informative.I cut a lot of firewood and have quality chainsaws.This looks like the method for me to get my table feet roughed in.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-24-2017, 12:34 PM
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Most Welcome Dixie,

I couldn't help but notice your "handle" here on the forum has Bonsai in it? I have worked in this art form (on and off) for many years and actually follow the older forms from China/Korea called 盆景 (Pénjing-lit:"potted view") and the latter form where Bonsai came from 盆栽 (Pensai-lit:"potted plant"). It is a marvelous way to learn about trees and wood, as I discovered in my childhood...

Look forward to seeing more of your progress with this project...

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post #11 of 12 Old 03-24-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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I too have several Bonsai, Mr. White Cloud.I have a few that are a coupe of decades old.My interest has wained a little over the years, as they are a LOT of trouble to keep watered, sheltered and healthy.I also have to get up in my garden every fall and dig slit trenches to heel them into the ground so that they can have their required dormant period, without the roots freezing.We are coming into the time of the year that I am glad that I still have a quite a few.I have Japanese Maples Bonsai that are multi colored and are especially beautiful with their spring vigor.I have also taken cuttings from my Bonsai and rooted them and set them in my landscape.Bonsai have to be pruned back regularly , as you know.I have a couple of Shindeshojo cuttings that are 4 to 5 foot bushy trees.The mother Bonsai sitting next to them is dwarfed.
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-24-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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I thought I might include a couple of pictures for those of you kind enough to respond.I started roughing this farm table beams up today.All I can say is, my poor circular saw, it took a beating, this 100+ year old Oak is TOUGH.My saw was smoking, once I thought it was on fire,LOL.Working with wood, on purpose, that is not square is a real challenge too.This first picture is of four beams I am roughing up to be the feet,which i was asking about shaping and the pillars that support the table.I have a bunch of fairly nice 3x8 and 3x6 to make the top.I've already roughed it in.The ladies say they want me to leave the patina and just mill what I have to.The second picture is a rough idea of what I'm aiming for but more rustic.
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