Questions About Complex Furniture Shapes

My name is Tony Kubalak and I build reproduction 18th Century American Furniture. I have been using sketchup for about 5 years to model some of my furniture projects and that has gone pretty well. I am able to model most anything that is rectilinear and most any molding profile. I would consider my sketchup skills as intermediate.

I now want to upgrade my models with more details. The first step in that direction is to nicely round a cabriole leg and terminate it with a ball and claw foot. Currently I can create the rough cabriole shape by intersecting two extruded profiles. However, the rounding is more complex and I have not come up with a good way to do it. I have also dabbled with a ball and claw foot. I can make the ball from a sphere but I don’t know how to integrate the sphere into the toes and leg.

I have attached a couple of pictures of a leg and foot that I have carved to illustrate what I want to model. I want the same refinement of surfaces and level of detail as in the pictures.

Is this something that sketchup can do, or should I be looking at using a different 3d modeler? Blender for example.

I appreciate any insight that anyone might have.





Here is the foot image.

This doesn’t have the ball and claw foot but here’s an example I modeled entirely in SketchUp some years ago.

Ball and claw feet are definitely doable in SketchUp, too.



Your model has nicely rounded cabriole legs. What techniques did you use for that? That is one of the first refinement steps I want to do. Also your leg blends nicely into the foot. Did you use native tools or some plugins?


That was done so long ago that the upper part was mostly brute force. The extensions @mihai.s suggests would make that easier now. The foot was done with a combination of Follow Me and Curviloft.

My book, “SketchUp Success for Woodworkers,” (Cedar Lane Press) explains one way to make a cabriole leg and ball-and-claw foot using only native tools.
Good luck,