Friday, February 11, 2011

Queen Anne Side Chair: Shoe

I finished a pair of queen anne side chairs a few years ago. This project is a perfect example of the versatility allowed by hollows and rounds: Two chairs, two shoes, 16" of finished molding, one molding profile I will probably never make again, an hour to completion, no new tools.

Plow plane (or Table saw) followed by rabbet (or table saw)

Rabbet followed by Rabbet. Why the chamfer

#8 hollow

#12 round (get as much as you can, but be warned it's less than what's pictured.)

#4 and #2 round used to get the profile as close as possible to what was drawn on the two ends of the piece. 

The ellipse is approximately a 1/2" circle at the bottom. The shape of the profile prevents a the #4 from reaching it all (especially along the right hand side, where the radius expands). This portion is, again, pretty close to free hand. The hollows will have chutes to follow. Creating a consistent profile is easy as each pass creates a new guide. Getting that shape to the desired profile may take practice. 

A small side round would have been ideal and completely changed how I attacked this while eliminating the minimal scraping after. Can you see what steps would have been different? 

And the completed version:

The shoe starts out as a 13" section with this profile (Mortise already in). I then rounded the corner by drawing the profile on the back, cutting it out with a coping saw and carving.


  1. Matt,

    This is why your on auto-update. You continue to amaze me. Keep it up, I await your next post eagerly.

  2. The return on this shoe is in end grain, and also is narrow so not much room to register a tool. Was it any harder to do than the rest? Very impressive in any event.
    Larry Barrett, in Maryland

  3. Larry,
    The return was carved. I drew the profile on the back and roughed it out with a coping saw. I then carved the rest.

  4. Archiphile,
    Thank you. Positive feedback will keep me going.

  5. I agree with that I check the site every day waiting for the next lesson. Thanks Matt I do enjoy your posts and appreciate them very much. John