I'm sure you're wondering why we decided to sell the plans for our corbels and the easy answer is for all of our DIY customers who want one and are on a budget! We put a ton of time, effort and care into all of the corbels we create to ensure each one is as beautiful as the last. Our corbels are used in a bunch of different ways which include shelving support, and archway or kitchen island accents. Because of this we have to maintain a certain level of precision and consistency with our corbels to ensure our customers will be happy regardless of the use. This requires costly tools, maintenance, time and skill which reflects in our prices (keeping them as low as possible).
All that is not really important to you but what is important is that we love seeing others getting into the DIY spirit and creating something with their own hands. You don't need our expensive tools or years of experience to make a great looking corbel all on your own. You are able to make a piece of art that is guaranteed to spark conversation and draw attention in your home with a few basic tools.
In this tutorial we will show you how to make our most popular corbel, the Griffin. We are using Douglas Fir as the wood, however you can use whatever you would like based off of different thicknesses, the look you're going for, or even just what's available. Before we get started we want to address the flatness of the wood you're using. FLAT IS WHERE IT'S AT!!! There are plenty of videos out there on picking out flat wood at home improvement stores so we won't go into detail on that. Just keep in mind that if you don’t have a wood planer (which can be an expensive purchase) make sure you put extra effort into making sure you're choosing the flattest of the flat. Lowe's actually sells pine "project panels" in different sizes and thicknesses that would be perfect for this project and you could probably get a set of corbels out of one board. The wood is not incredibly strong or dense but will cut easily and, for the most part, will come (you guessed it) flat.
- paper and printer
- glue stick
- a tool to cut out the corbel layers
note: A jigsaw is the happy medium between $$ and fast results, however a cheap coping saw, which will run between $4-$5, will work at the cost of time and a LOT of elbow grease. Other tools you can use include a scroll saw, band saw or a spoon (this one will definitely take the longest!)
- sandpaper (an electric sander if you have it is great but not necessary)
- wood glue
note: Harbor Freight sells quick release 6" bar clamps for about $3 each and you'd need 3 for one corbel. You could also forego the glue and clamps and just screw the layers together (if you're painting over the entire corbel in the end).
Let's move on to the goods:
Step 1. Print to “Fit” under "Page Sizing & Handling"
Step 2. Cut out and tape together corbel pattern.
Step 3. With your glue stick, out line the corbel pattern on the back then glue to the edge of one piece of wood.
Step 5. In these pictures Justin is using the coping saw and scroll saw for example but a jigsaw would make quick work.
Step 6. Sand all three pieces of your corbel. There may be paper stuck on the layers after taking of the templates but don't stress, it will sand off easily.
Step 7. Apply wood glue and clamp all three pieces together (if you're using screws disregard this step and go to town!) Quick tip: if you're using glue, the layers of the corbels will want to slide against each other as you're clamping which will throw off your alignment (you want the bottom and back edges to be as flush as possible). If you sprinkle some table salt onto the glue after you spread it, it will provide the grip needed to prevent the sliding while you clamp!
If you want to hang your corbels, there are a few different options. We use a router to create keyholes (requires a router and a keyhole bit).
Please share with us what you used this corbel design for and include pictures of your corbels!
To learn how to finish your vintage inspired corbels please read our blog post on how to properly chip your corbels AND other pieces of furniture here!