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The Bears Hang Out on a Corbel

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

No, the bears are not out on a rampage, they’re just sunning on a corbel! They could be sunning on a bench, or on a windowsill, or up on a shelf, so why not on a corbel?

It's an absolutely beautiful sunny day out here, although the temperatures are well below freezing. But I'm feeling a bit giddy, and since I’m too old to tumble and make angels in the snow, I made this “montage” in the hopes of bringing some lightheartedness to your day too.

Our daughter loves Victorian architecture and every time she passes by a home built in that style, she gets excited, wishing she’d be the owner. As a woodworker I can appreciate the craftsmanship involved in the ornate woodwork, and sometimes I wish we hadn't shifted so much into this transient mentality, where hardly anyone builds a home to live in for the rest of their lives. Families often move several times during their lifetime, and I think there’s a connection here regarding the quality of work invested in the building of a house nowadays.

Anyway, since I can’t offer our daughter a Victorian home with all the beautiful trim work, inside and out, I thought I’d make her one element found in such a structure that stands out for me - a corbel!

Since I’m not sure how they went about making something like this a hundred or so years ago, I’m going to proceed with all the tools I have access to. For the corbel to have strength to support a load, the scrolled part, (the "brace"), would have to have a solid core, therefore it would have to be a “sandwich” of three pieces.

The first step was to make a pattern and I did that using 3/16” Masonite. I traced the two outside pieces on ½” thick poplar and after drilling the holes for inserting the blade, I cut them on the scroll saw, leaving the outside edge uncut. Next, I glue the sandwich together with a piece of 3/4” material in the middle, making sure the top and side edges are in alignment.

After the glue dried, I cut the outside edge on the bandsaw, and if they needed it, I ran the straight sides on the joiner. I used 4x4” material for the wall post and the hammer beam, joining the two with a pinned mortice and tenon.

The originals might have had the cornice bracket or brace joined to the assembly through mortice and tenon also, but since my corbel only supports a gang of bears, I used 3 long screws.

While making it, I thought of some different uses for the corbel. One could set a mailbox or bird feeder on it, or a pair of brackets could be installed on the door jamb, one on each side with a plank on top, as a nice way to display a collection of ____________ (fill in the blank with whatever you like to collect - unless of course, you have a dozen or so bears!)

Stay warm, and as an old friend of ours liked to say, “Be good, or be careful.” Only two more months until spring! Brrrrrr

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Judy Moyer
Judy Moyer
Jan 30, 2022

Yes, you sure did make me smile... even out loud. Yes, we are cold here too. We have had below 0 recently. Love your corbel. You have some great ideas...creative ways to use them.


Cathy Jones Vinson
Cathy Jones Vinson
Jan 30, 2022

I like these so well and like Christina, would like to add these to a home I lived in as much as I could! Do you take orders :-)? We are soon to go to Canton, and I believe there is a home in my father-in-law’s neighborhood with some of these, and I plan to really check them out.

I have worked on the top two drawings lately. Blessings

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