Side Table – poplar and walnut – 2008

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A final project before I left Portland in 2008.  This was inspired by Stickley, but is very much an original design.  The initial design was for a desk, I added the bottom shelf and the round board along the back of the table. Part of what makes this piece so awesome is the grain pattern – both the white strip on top and the purple tones on the bottom shelf are natural.  An initially I had planned to make a hope chest with this wood – but sometimes the material tells you what it wants to be.  It took a significant amount of effort, and more importantly patience to get the bottom shelf to something approaching float.  I cut out the backstop on the table with a jigsaw.

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Check-out the hand cut dovetails – the other side flaked a little so I am selectively highlighting the more attractive joint.  I am especially proud of not injuring myself while making the drawer pulls – which were laminated poplar and walnut run through a rounding bit on a router.  I used my block plane a lot on this project, both to trim the drawers and to get a flat spot on the handles to attach them.  It is hard to imagine there was a time before I had a block plane now.  The bottom of the drawers is aromatic cedar which carefully protect all the crap in them from all the foul smells in my room.

My dear friend Adam Kenderick, one of the people who has tolerated my enthusiasm for hand planes.  Brian and Adam, put together a box to ship this piece from Portland to New York leaving a trail of packing peanuts across several states in between.

Also in defense of tulip popular – woodworkers for too long have relegated it to the inside of drawers, I think it is a great wood to work with and has great patterns.


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