Reproduce a Corbel: Make Templates and Cut Blanks
Choose an intact existing example
Ripped on a bandsaw, 1-in.-thick slices of an original corbel are taken from the center and from one side so that all elements of the profile are represented.
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Transfer the shapes
To make the template, trace the originals onto a piece of 1⁄2-in. plywood. After cutting out the shapes, refine the outlines until they’re exact.
Trace both the inner and outer templates onto 8/4 stock. Nesting the templates is a good way to conserve the material.
Cut without binding
After cutting out the rough shape on a bandsaw, it’s a good idea to make relief cuts first into the curved lines so that the blade doesn’t bind when cutting along the curve.
Assemble the basic shape
Once the basic shape has been cut, screw the plywood template onto the blank. With a 2-in.-long 1⁄2-in. top-bearing straight bit in a router table, trim the blank flush to the template.
Read the companion article:
Master Carpenter: Reproducing a Corbel