In this extensive and detailed DVD course, award-winning woodworker Frank Strazza 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!
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For additional information, detailed drawings and cut list that you can download and print, see: Resources for the Online Occasional Table Course.