Last summer I had a customer ask for a kitchen table. I was glad to discuss this project with them with the caveat that I work this project in aside from my regular kitchen cabinet installations.
So after more than a few conversations about design, size and materials we came to this. The type of table will be a trestle table with two benches to match. The tops will have bread board ends. The materials will be southern yellow pine, I know some will ask why SYP. and I say this in responds, 1. It fits the customers budget, 2. It’s strong and durable., 3. It works well., 4. It’s historically correct for the south. So with that said, make all the cheap shoots you want.
So it took a while, but the first week of February I drove up to Madison to purchase the lumber for this project. I started breaking down the stock that day. flattening the stock every evening that week and the weekend. 150 board feet of 8/4 stock worked with hand tools only that’s one heck of a fun challenge. It’s also one heck of a lot of shaving, and shavings, and more shavings.
Oh, I started rambling about shavings a forgot the design didn’t I. Ok, so for the size, the table will about 3′ wide by 80″ long with a height of about 28 to 29 inches. The benches about 14″ wide the same length as the table and about 17″ tall. I want the table frame to have tusked tenons with white oak wedges.
The benches will be similar, but there will not be any tusked tenons because I want the cross member to act as a strong back for the bench top. I do have an idea for making this work that is strong and will look good as well. I just haven’t worked it completely out in my head as of yet.
The thickness of all this material for all the parts will be the highest yield I can get from the 8/4 stock so that could be anywhere between 1 5/8″ to 1 3/4″ depending on how this stock seasons over the next few weeks. I have no idea how much movement I’ll see after I finish breaking things down and doing some flattening. After this I’ll let things set for a week and see what happens. I do expect to see some movement but with some luck it will be small. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one.
The last thing about this design is the finish. The customer wants something dark. With SYP. that can be problematic. And to be plain honest I hate stain. I work with it on a day-to-day basis but I still prefer natural colors. I plan on working out some samples of some colors for these folks choose from and I hope, and I mean deep down that I can steer them to the light of natural color. If nothing else at least something that will not hide the grain. So everyone cross your fingers for me will ya.
This is first commission I taken for a while now and that brings with it a lot to consider.
The first is, can I truly deliver a proper finished product? I mean a truly masterful furniture piece that the customers will be happy with long-term. This is a consideration that will stay with me every step made in this journey.
The second consideration is time. Can I dedicate the time and maintain focus that this project deserves? I figured that this will more than likley take about 200 hours give or take to complete. I truly will have to make the most of every hour.
The third consideration is space management. My shop is a 200 square foot single car garage. That means there ain’t much room in here. things could get crowded and that will be unproductive. I must work with in my space limits.
The fourth and the most important consideration is what in the heck am I going to do with all them shavings. I mean man, I see lots of fire starter there baby!
Any how I have lot to post soon and I hope all who read will enjoy.
And did I mention the shavings?
- starting to break down