Build The Wooden Feet On A Wooden Box

Peter Follansbee is a master wood worker who has a book out, “Joiner’s Work”, and in this post we’ll demonstrate what Peter can do with putting some decorative feet on a wooden box.

The legs made here are done on a lathe, so you’ll need to have one in order to complete the wooden legs for a box project described here.

wooden feet, Build The Wooden Feet On A Wooden Box, Wood Reports
Peter running the lathe to put legs on the wooden box

The foot is a simple enough shape that I don’t make a pattern stick, but you certainly could. I just mark the 2″ height of the foot, with about a 3/4″ long tenon beyond that. Define the shoulder that separates the foot from the tenon with a gouge and skew. If you have a parting tool, that’s an excellent tool for this step. Someday I have to dig mine out and sharpen it, but in the meantime, I use the skew and gouge approach. The foot consists of a pear-shaped cylinder, a cove and a collar. I scribe a line defining the collar and cut in under that with the gouge to begin shaping the cove. I alternate coming in from the left and right to help open up the cove.


After roughing out the shape, a few light shavings bring the final smooth shape to completion. The best surface comes from the skew chisel.


For me, turning is always a lesson in “enough is enough.” I often have a tendency to think I can go back one more time to make it better. This sometimes works, but more often results in disaster. The pole lathe is helpful because it allows me to make mistakes more slowly than a faster lathe.

Peter Follansbee, lostartpress.com
wooden feet, Build The Wooden Feet On A Wooden Box, Wood Reports
Making all the legs for a wooden box on a pole lathe

There is a diagram with the parts list and schematic diagrams from each angle available here.

Peter has a number of Joiner tutorial books and DVDs available, showing you all the tricks of the trade of the joiner profession. Of course, being able to run a lathe and build a wide variety of things which are not strictly a joiner duty means you get the real view of what it is like to be a joiner in the 21st century.

wooden feet, Build The Wooden Feet On A Wooden Box, Wood Reports
Attaching the wooden legs to the wooden box

For the full instructions for making these wooden legs, lostartpress has an excerpt from Peter’s book which should be enough to get you going. View the excerpt.