Coffee tables and beyond

Coffee tables

This past week you probably gathered that we were creating the table design elements of the month-long workshop. We talk about design concepts yes, but the concepts become texture in our hands at the bench. It’s through this texture that we touch the deeper things even professional machinist woodworkers never see or understand. We reach beyond just talking about it too, and enter the realms of making,which is where we bridge the huge gap between past craftsmen and craftsmanship and the present-day new-genre woodworker. We climb over any and all failures to pursue the excellence we strive to establish and the end goal which brings fulfillment.





My brain is buzzing with the questions students ask and yet, even though I strain every muscle and sinew for weeks on end, I feel refreshed as I work with my new friends. Today was a high for many who glued up their tables. All the planing and sawing, the intenseness of refining, improving defining the work has paid off. The relief with each glue up defies any comment I might make. The atmosphere becomes charged and a certain aura displaces intenseness with immeasurable feelings of success. Mistakes, gaps, unevenness is now lost and the relief relaxes everything into smiling faces. That’s what I love to see in my work.



The tools respond to the students now. They are at the diamond plates every few minutes and seldom ask questions on sharpening or sharpness, that is until today. Today they scraped and planed their tables before and after glue-up. This is exciting to me because they are maturing in their work. This I like.  Glue-up brings with it that sense of completion most people no longer know. It’s what I call a quality completion actually. It has that quality about it that no one would say her or she is an unqualified woodworker.







  1. Hi Paul, it is strange but I receive this post in my email but if I try to go directly to your blog page it doesn’t show up. Still, it is great seeing the progress, glue-ups and scraping. Fun stuff!

  2. Paul,

    I have been looking for a children’s table design and love the look of this. If I follow the trestle table on masterclasses but scale everything in half, would the thicknesses need to be halved as well? It sort of looks like all the pieces on this table are 3/4″?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Some projects are not truly scaleable in the sense that half sizing the table doesn’t mean you can half size thicknesses as in table thickness and such. That’s because the joinery needs substance around it. This is especially so with childrens furniture where if it’s too heavy it can be top heavy and easily tipable and too light it can be spillable. all thoughts you must work through, but safety is key.

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