Monday, November 18, 2013

Drop in on the Table Making Class

This is been one of the busiest months ever! 

There are two table making classes in session at the shop, and the classes are evenly mixed between rookies and more experienced woodworkers. 

While it would be easier for everyone to make the same thing, who says life should be easy?  So everyone chose their own project to build. Some came up with good sketches, like these two, 

but I had a hard time figuring out what this one was.

Some people even took pictures of their existing furniture, to try and match the pieces. 

After looking at everyone's designs, I knew I needed this. 

Some people that are barely beyond baby steps in woodworking chose very complex designs, despite my warnings.  Most understood that they wouldn't complete their table of the six weeks of the class, and they were okay with that.

During the first couple of classes - we used every single clamp in the shop.

Sometimes clamping is a group effort, especially on huge dining table tops, where the wood might have a slight bow in it. It usually means someone has to climb up on the table and coax the wood into place.

Later, after the tops were glued together, it was a group effort to plane the boards. And since my planer is only 24" wide, 

some of the tops required planing and re-gluing the individual sections together. 

These tops are huge–and weigh a ton!

Meanwhile - other people in the shop just put their heads down and work away. Sometimes it doesn't seem like they're making very much progress, but then all of a sudden – all of their parts are ready to be assembled and BOOM!  - they have a piece!


One of the guys is actually making four tables, so he brought in wood to make all of the bases first, which are stacked up around the shop. Now the bases are finished - he's working on his tabletops. 

With 16 students into different classes, the shop is getting really crowded! 

Some people are still struggling with their tables, having not made very much progress. Others are nearly done.

It's been a bit of a challenge to keep people from getting discouraged,  but I keep reminding them that they have to learn the small steps of woodworking first, before they can build a house. 

I know one thing - if I ever teach a chair making class again and somebody wants to build one of these, 

I will have to put my foot down and say no! 

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