Furniture 101: Stylish Curves

by Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tables and chairs often feature legs with stunning curves, and most of us can’t help but wonder how any woodworker is able to achieve the precise look. What’s the process they follow? Are there machines that help craftsmen create curved legs? Are all curves created the same way, or are there different methods to follow depending on the design? Let’s go over some of the common techniques used to build curves in wood furniture so you can understand a little more about how the furniture is made before you click “buy.”

Curved table and chair legs are often created using drawing and bending techniques. Drawing on the wood with a pencil gives woodworkers a guide to follow as they cut; it gives them more control and prevents mishaps when re-shaping the wood’s original form. This method of drawing, cutting and then shaping is often used to design traditional furniture, as it allows for slender and intricate styles. Popular leg designs using this technique include the Cabriole leg and Queen Anne legs.

curved wood furniture

Solid wood American made chair with steam bent back.

Another way to achieve curved legs is to bend the wood. Woodworkers can follow more than one bending technique, but quality solid wood furniture uses steam and muscle power. They can also more easily create curves by choosing flexible, ready-to-bend materials. Whether your home is decorated in a contemporary or traditional style, you can easily incorporate the look of bent wood into your space. Table and chair legs built using this technique often feature wide, sloping curves. Chair backs constructed with hand bent backs make meals more comfortable.

Hand-crafted curves can be intricate and exquisite or simple and sleek, but one thing is for sure: choosing furniture with curved accents is an easy way to bring eye-catching style to your space.

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