The next project Woodworking Masterclasses brings to its members is a taper-legged sofa-cum side table in oak. I generally develop drawings detailing the different features such as joints, decorative points, sizes, angles and so. With that done the prototype is almost done too, in that mentally I am or have figured out the conflicts and reconciled any difficulties I might encounter in a given design. Prototyping aids any creative development to quicken the build, minimize risk and prevent unnecessary mistakes. Drawings give the proportional representation we need to extract sizing and develop the cutting list for rough-cutting as a prelude to final dimensioning. We will make the one of these tables for video and online broadcast from some red oak I bought recently, but the pine prototype should be done tomorrow. Whereas those following this detailed course in table making need not make a prototype, it’s important to see the real value in developing one to aid in any new design.
Table making will recur from time to time over the next couple of years, as we progress training, and I designed this one with a couple of features using different cabinet making techniques used by cabinet makers through the centuries. Down the road we have an extending dining table to make as well as a nightstand table and drawer. To get to these and other table types we pave the way with this sofa table.
I walked the castle grounds to the workshop today and through the woods both there and back. John joined me mid afternoon and we talked as we worked. Penrhyn Castle looks lovely surrounded by golden daffodils and there were lots of visitors as a start to the new season. We invite them in to see our work and they are surprised to see us working with hand tools. The sounds and scents are pervasive. So much so it’s often the smell of wood that draws them. We talk back and forth as they recall episodes from their past recollections in school or passing the local joiner’s shop in younger days. It makes me see how fortunate I have been not to sit staring at flat screens all my life. It’s something of an odd thing to see how appreciative people are to see what we do and make. When they look in the door they usually stop before fully entering; as if they don’t want to disturb something special and yet they can’t resist the open space. I am so glad that they love to be there and listen and watch as we work. The work was light, fun, interesting and not hard at all. We preserve our craft in the lives of you who read this and watch our videos. The tools and techniques too are preserved not by professionals but interested amateurs who work wood for the love of it. That’s the only reason for doing what we do.
The woodland walk home is about a mile door to door. The blackbirds and robins call back and forth, and the doves too. John and I talked all the way home. Tomorrow is a new day. band new untainted and open. I look forward to working tomorrow.