Earlier this week I finished constructing a pair of walnut and maple hall tables. These tables are for a couple in Maggie Valley who wanted them for the main entryway to their home. It was very enjoyable to work with and get to know them and help beautify their home.
Each table is 30 inches high, 12 inches wide and the lengths are 34 and 48 inches. The materials are walnut for the tops and legs and maple. Once again I used draw-bored mortise and tenon joinery on these tables, which facilitated the glue up process. The legs are slightly tapered and the aprons curved upward a bit. Additionally the tops have their underside beveled. All these elements together give the tables a more graceful feel than one would achieve with mere straight lines.
I am using Danish oil to finish these tables followed by paste wax to add more luster and protection. I’ve not used Danish oil before so there is an element of uncertainty, but so far I’m fond of the finish produced.
With each piece I build I feel like I achieve a greater unity of design, harmony of proportions and deliberateness in my construction methods. I see influences of shaker and federal styles recurring in my work as well as the influence of Thomas Moser, whose site I have linked on my blog page. I’ve spent hours pouring over Moser’s designs, which inspire me to achieve a higher level of craftsmanship with each new piece I build. With each piece I build I discover something new, whether an easier way to cut tenons or what kind of forces will split the top of a table leg.
Carpentry is the unity of trees, blades and human expression.
When we bought our house, the previous owner took a few pieces of her furniture back (fair enough) which left us with some empty spaces to fill. I decided one of those spaces needed to be filled with a new table. I made this one out of maple and cherry and finished it with a linseed oil/bees wax blend. The first picture is of some of the maple figure I discovered after planing down the boards for the top. It also shows some of the interesting coloration that resulted from a phenomena called spalting. This is caused by a fungus entering the wood and causing various types of coloration.
The dark coloration in the second picture (right side) is caused by some lead pellets from a shot gun. Apparently before this tree was turned into boards, it was a casualty of the local hunters. There is still one piece of lead in the top (I left it for visual interest).
The final photo is the table in its new home, ready for years of enjoyment. The final dimensions are about 40″ long, 32″ wide and 30″ high.