luxury of freedom


The Story of Hand-Making

My wife gives voice lessons, and a student accidentally broke a makeshift end table in her studio when he leaned on it. This piece of furniture was previously considered unimportant, but after it collapsed and she got rid of it, more than a few students have asked "Hey, where's that little table that I use to set my books on?" It's funny how a seemingly insignificant piece of furniture can play such a major role in the function of a room.

I did an inventory of my stock in the shop. Knowing that this piece would be painted, I wasn't ready to "sacrifice" my good hardwood. I came up with a piece of 2×12 construction lumber and a big hunk (5 × 4.5 × 36) of Kiri that I got for a song many months ago.

Knowing what raw material I had on hand, it was time to consider where construction compromises needed to be made. Since I was only using scrap, I would need to do some re-sawing and panel glue-ups to get the dimensions I needed.

I considered attaching the top stretchers with pocket hole screws, but since I was building the piece out of softwood I was not convinced that the pocket screws would hold up over the years. Instead, I stuck with the traditional half blind dovetails into the top of the leg posts.

This was a whirlwind build from concept to finish, and it taught me a lot about how I work and what decisions I make along the way.


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