Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Making Corbels

Sometimes I get someone asking me to build a shelf with corbels. Usually that means I'm making some corbels and since I haven't posted any of that info up yet I thought I'd show how its done. You can cut them out of big chunks of lumber or you can laminate regular boards like I'm doing here.  First come up with your shape on one piece and trace that piece on all the others, then cut your pieces.  I used a bandsaw, but a jigsaw or even coping saw will work.  Figure out how thick you want the corbels to be and that will tell you how many layers you need to glue up.  Since I want these blind attached I create a pocket in the back for a cleat.
Next glue them up and clamp them tight so the glue oozes out between the pieces. Notice the wax paper under the corbels while I'm clamping.  This keeps that oozing glue from gluing the corbels to the workbench.

 Notice in the photo below you can see how the cleat recess in the back of the corbel came out.  This is where I'll use a 2X2 attached to the wall to hold the corbel against the wall.  Now I have the corbels roughed out and will finish by sanding them smooth.  I have a machine to do this now, but have spent many hours doing it by hand in the past.

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