I took a number of pictures of the foot when I was at Yale. Here I made blow ups so I could study them while I carved a practise foot out of poplar.
I laid out the bottom the traditional way with the 2 circles and 4 toes. But notice on the side I traced a curved toe sweeping back on the side.
Here is a look at the other side.
Here is the practise foot. It came out pretty well, I did play with it for a while until I was satisfied that it looked ok.
Now that I have a good model, I am ready to cut out and carve the mahogany feet.
Here they are all cut out and with the bottoms marked with the circles and toes. I left the tops on so that it would be easier to clamp them in the vise for carving.
Again I drew the side toes sweeping back.
I use a molding gauge on the model to transfer the height of the ball with a pencil mark that I draw on the side and front. I will use the molding gauge later to check the progress on my carving of the curves.
Here I am using a 1 inch 3 to carve a cylinder all the way around the four sides. I stop at the first circle drawn on the bottom of the foot. I use the small square to check that the cylinder sides go straight back from bottom to top. This one has a little way to go, you can see the gap at the base of the square which means the top is high and needs more carving.
After carving the cylinder all the way around, next I start to round over the ball on the back side. I carve from the center down toward the bottom and round to the second circle on the bottom. I carve from the center up to the top and try to make the same curve. The center on this ball is 1 1/8 inches from the bottom. But this is where I use the molding gauge to check the curves.
There is a lot more carving to do here to match that curve from my practise foot.
Now I am getting closer. Just a little more. I repeat the process on the other side.
When you view it from the bottom the ball should look continuous as it passes under the toe. Also the curves of the ball should be smooth without bumps.
I roughed out the side toe before I started carving the front ball because I needed to expose the portion that was hidden under the toe before I carved it. Now I can made the ball on the front.
I carved the front ball the same way I did the back by using the molding gauge to check my progress on the curves. I also roughed in the webbing so I could see the size of the toes. I wanted to make them thicker than the model.
Now that I have the ball carved, I can work on the toes. From the pictures and the model I need to carve these bulbs along the toes. I made mine similar but not exactly like the one at Yale.
With most of the carving done, it is time to clean up the saw marks off of the cabriolet leg. I use my curved bottom spokeshave and a file to clean up the marks.
There you have it, one done and it looks better than the model. Now I have to do 3 more but they should go faster as I am repeating the process.
Here is today's video: