In this extensive and detailed course, Frank will walk you through building a small occasional table out of walnut. When you finish this course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills necessary to build a 4-legged table of any size.
Together with Frank, you’ll carefully think through the layout of each piece, considering grain orientation, knots and color variations of the wood. He’ll show you how to mark them so they stay in order before beginning to lay out the mortise and tenon joints that join the legs together with the aprons. You’ll mortise each leg and learn how to miter the ends of the tenons so they meet inside each corner. Finally, Frank will show you several methods for tapering the legs including sawing or using the drawknife to cut the taper.
After completing the base of the table, you’ll turn your attention to the top. Frank shows you how to make a perfect glue joint for your two-piece table top with a hand plane. He’ll walk you through squaring it up and flattening the top with a variety of planes and scrapers. You’ll be introduced to a special tool for making the buttons that hold the top in place so that it can expand and contract without splitting.
After cutting decorative arches in the aprons with a handsaw, chisel and spokeshave, Frank will guide you through dry fitting the table together and then glueing it up. You’ll do a final scraping and light sanding before polishing the surfaces with Frank’s secret polishing compound. He’ll then teach you how to apply and build up a beautiful hand-rubbed oil finish that will last for generations.
This project is the last lesson in the Heritage School of Woodworking’s Foundational Woodworking Series. After completing it, together with the dovetail box and wall shelf projects, you will have learned the basic joinery skills needed for just about any project. Of course, many variations of the joints as well as mastery and speed will come with years of practice. But you will be well on your way to a rewarding lifetime of hand-tool woodworking!
We highly recommend you watch the course, “Sharpening Hand Tools” before taking this course. The single most important factor contributing to your success in joinery is a razor sharp tool.
How to Purchase the Course
To get started learning, just click on the “Begin Free Trial” button which will take you to the membership page. Choose the Basic membership (either annual or monthly) and select “Traditional Crafts” from the drop-down menu. After submitting your payment info on the checkout page, go to the top righthand side of the menu bar and click on the login icon and check that you are logged in with your username and password. You will have immediate access to the videos. Your card won’t be charged for 2 days so if you cancel before then, you’ll be charged nothing. You can also buy the course outright by clicking on the “Buy Course” button. With this option, you’ll have permanent access to this course but not to any other courses.
About the Instructor
Frank Strazza’s first recollection of any interest in woodworking is from the age of seven when his mother found an old hand-crank drill at an antique trading post. This piqued Frank’s interest in tools and in working with wood. At an early age he took some woodworking classes on weekday evenings and at the age of twelve, he built a cedar chest with hand cut dovetails throughout.
Frank apprenticed with Heritage Craftsman, first in Austin, Texas and then later at Homestead Heritage in central Texas. He has been working with wood for over 25 years and his work has been featured in both local and national publications, including Woodworker West, Woodwork Magazine and Fine Woodworking. Frank has won many awards for many of his pieces, including multiple first place awards both at the Texas Furniture Makers Show and at the International Design in Wood Exhibition in California. He, along with several other of our craftsmen, was even the first American woodworker in over 100 years to be commissioned by the President to make a furniture piece for the permanent collection at the White House.
Frank teaches woodworking out of his many years of experience in building furniture. He is a full time instructor at the Heritage School of Woodworking, located in central Texas. His passion for the craft shines through in his work as well as his teaching. Frank lives in central Texas with his wife, Amy and five young children. In his spare time he enjoys bicycling with his children, reading about woodworking as well as playing the cello in his community orchestra.