Sunday, December 29, 2013

Catching a woodworking bug....

It started with this picture.  

A student of mine sent this photo to me, and said she wanted to make a table base similar to this design. It was going to be her first large piece - and I thought I'd share the process with you. It's nothing short of amazing. 

Since the top was wider than 24 inches (the width of my planer),  it had to be glued together in several steps. 

She used 8/4 lumber (that's two inches thick, for you non-woodworkers!) African mahogany. It is quite heavy, and just planing the top sections was quite a chore!

I didn't get photos while she was making the base, but it went together relatively easily, using two inch-thick poplar.  She kept hopping back and forth between sanding the top and working on the base. Here - she's getting some help placing the top on the base. 

It's a beast!

She used an ebony stain on the poplar base; it's a stunning combination. 

The top alone probably took 12-15 hours to make, at least half of that in sanding alone.  But when she applied the oil, all of the hard work paid off.

This tabletop seems to glow from within. 

And here it is, finished and assembled. She chose to oil the top, let it cure, and then apply a few coats of a wipe-on poly, for more protection. The result is crazy-beautiful! 

She made this for her daughter, so it's going to be shipped across the country. This piece is so well-made, and so sturdy, but I suspect it will be around for a long, long time. Imagine someday that her great-grandchildren might be dining on this table. It's kind of mind-boggling!

People ask me if I get bored with teaching.... are you kidding me? Projects like this one keep me excited about it! It's a rush to watch someone complete a piece like this; I'm not quite sure how to explain it. 

Right now - in the shop - there are many more heirloom quality pieces being built. Like an amazing rocking chair that one fellow is making for his daughter. 

Or - this Cherry chest of drawers, 

which one student undertook, just become familiar with working with plywood. 

These are just a few of the projects that you might see if you stopped by the school - if you're in the neighborhood, feel free to come in and see what we're building. 

Be careful - you might catch a woodworking bug....

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