Monday, March 9, 2015

New-Old Class

I have been teaching classes at Highland Woodworking long enough that there's at least one class which another great teacher developed, and then I taught several times after he left, and which I then quit teaching, and now we're bringing it back. But it's been so long since we've run this class, that I don't remember a thing about it!

I've forgotten how to teach this class SO COMPLETELY that I am basically starting from scratch. I have forgotten the size, except for a single dimension: 5 inches, which is the width of the apron. How wide was the top? How narrow was the taper of the legs? What was the total height? Heck if I know! I've made a few guesses and drawn a police-artist type "reconstruction" with SketchUp. 

(Artist's reconstruction)

What I do know is this: it's a very handsome Shaker-style end table. Jason Howard, now at Hardwoods Incorporated, designed both the table and the class, which was very popular in the early 2000's. The mortise/tenon connection between legs and aprons was done back then via Beadlock, which I'm not sure exists any more. The class always built it in cherry, which was very much in vogue in the 90's and 00's.

This is a great beginning project if you'd like to try your hand at solid-wood furniture. It is small and simple enough to build in 3 (admittedly intense) nights, and take home in your car. If you're new to woodworking, you'll learn some important basic skills like gluing up a wide panel, a fundamental wood joint (mortise & tenon), organizing work flow, and switching between machines for brute basic shaping and hand tools for finishing touches (both shaping and surfacing).

We're doing it next week. Join us if you can, as we rediscover one of Highland's great classes! We'll be building it in cherry (old school!) but I'm not yet decided on the joinery method. Not by hand, not by Beadlock. I guess that leaves Leigh FMT, Festool Domino, or floating tenons via my home-made mortising jig.