Shaker pt. 2

This project started on Monday of a M/W/F class.  In my true nature, by Wednesday I had drawn two sketchup models just to see what a little variety would be like.  One table was drawn with traditional straight edges.  Along the table edge and apron bottoms of the other, I drew the edges with a 1” and ½” arc respectively.

Sketchup model

Sketchup model

We agreed that the table with curves was a pleasing change to the traditional style.  And as the late Big E Smalls always said, “more curves, more problems.” 

Using tape to visualize what the finished top would look like.

Using tape to visualize what the finished top would look like.

So the 1-day table has blossomed into two tables that are multi-day projects.  One table has been kept with the straight edges and one has been given some curves.   We started to think about the edge profile on the curved table, and vertical edge didn't seem appropriate anymore.  

Deciding what profile would look right.

Deciding what profile would look right.

Getting the Shakes from not woodworking enough

In teaching furniture, most of the items I work on are samples.  They are one-off’s (one of a kind) or single joints.  Crafting single dovetail or a tusk tenon as opposed to a box or a table base.  There comes a breaking point where you need to build something.   And what happens when you need to build something, but don’t have a lot of time to do it in?  You go to the Shakers. 

This is the table we modeled our table on.  It belongs to our night instructor, John Ferguson.

This is the table we modeled our table on.  It belongs to our night instructor, John Ferguson.

Straight, square, and simple with minimal embellishment are some of the hallmarks of shaker design.  I guess I could have gone craftsman, but that would have been more parts.  I tend to prefer the lighter feel of shaker design to the solid heft of craftsman anyway. 

This project started as a 1-day table.  I had a day that all of my students were out except for one.  I figured that that was an appropriate time to tackle a project like this.  As things go, one table turned into two and one day has turned into a few.  Considering we started the project with no set plans at 10:30, we did pretty well to have the all of the parts dimensioned (awaiting joinery), and bookmatched tabletops glued up by 4. 

One of the bookmatched quartersawn white oak table tops ready to glue.

One of the bookmatched quartersawn white oak table tops ready to glue.

Tapering the legs on the tablesaw with an adjustable jig.

Tapering the legs on the tablesaw with an adjustable jig.

This is how it stands at the end of Day 1

This is how it stands at the end of Day 1