Furniture Legs

Phil Lowe
August 10-14

Participants learn to make four classic styles of furniture legs from a master of the craft. Phil teaches design considerations and technical skills for creating elegant cabriole, tapered, and turned legs, as well as legs with cove-cut, molded feet. Each student makes all four legs, using a combination of hand tools and machinery.

For the turned leg, students learn safe and efficient turning techniques, along with making index wheels to lay out for reeding, fluting, and carving. For the cabriole leg, participants learn to combine lathe turning with a systematic approach to sculptural shaping that uses rasps, files, and scrapers. For the tapered leg, Phil demonstrates three alternative tapering methods, plus techniques for cutting and applying string inlay, bellflowers, and shop-made banding. At the close of the week, everyone goes home with a multitude of new skills that are widely applicable to furniture construction and embellishment.   

Phil Lowe is a noted maker, conservator, and restorer of period furniture in Beverly, MA. After serving as instructor and department head for furniture making at Boston's North Bennet St. School from 1975–1985, he founded his own school, The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts, in 1998. Phil has also written numerous articles and presented many videos for Fine Woodworking. In 2005, he received the Cartouche Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, and in 2010 he was granted the Bulfinch Award for Artisanship presented by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.


Open to all except absolute beginners.

Tuition: $820

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 Hack table detailDetail of Seymour Side Table by Phil Lowe with mahogany Sheraton-style, turned legs with beads, coves, and astragals, 2016

 Lowe 2019 inlaid leg detail of drop leaf tableDetail of Hepplewhite Breakfast Table by Phil Lowe with tapered legs inlaid with holly bellflowers and mahogany stringing, 2009