DSC_0474I often wonder about a lady named Ann Lee who moved from Manchester, UK to the USA as a Shaker and started the Shaker movement there in Albany, New York. My visits to the colony sites of these industry leaders of their time have always left me thinking these were not Americans but displaced British woodworkers.


Hear is my repro table build following the telltale patterns left in the wood and joints by the original maker. I learned so much from my mentor born in the 1800s and cannot thank him enough for expanding my vision and knowledge. Imagine some of this work in more modern pieces. Imagine that I came up with a modern design influenced by the Victorian that build this this week. The table’s lightness and strength remind me very much of Shaker pieces i have studied and as I put the tabletop on this evening before I left the shop i felt a gratitude rise inside me for the efforts of former craftsmen who left a legacy of work for us to study.
Today I was immensely glad for the table I bought for £3 that enabled me to see into the past. I was glad for the mahogany and the undulations left in the surface texture that told me of a wooden plane with a cambered iron and a method of marking that looked so neat and orderly. We managed to finish the whole of the video series for woodworkingmasterclasses .com and so that freed me up to focus on the next toolbox filming and of course variations on the theme that will make it a linen box/blanket chest or a toy box too. Watch this space for the toolbox build as I will be giving the detailed details of the build so you can start on yours too.

Of course today is Friday and everyone else will be off this weekend except for me of course. We start building rocking chairs tomorrow so that will be fun. Beyond that all is as always quiet and relaxed so have a nice weekend everyone.


  1. Shon on 19 September 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Paul

    In that case, the tabletop is fixed with screws.
    Isn’t there any problem when the tabletop expand or shrink?


  2. Carlos J. Collazo on 20 September 2014 at 12:22 am

    It is a great legacy no question and must be great being a part of it. Thank you for inviting others in to learn of and be a part of it in our own way.

  3. Steve Massie on 20 September 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Paul very nice looking table and I to am a big fan of Shaker style furniture. Did you elongate the holes for expansion and contraction or is this not a concern ?

    Thank You for sharing !


    • Paul Sellers on 20 September 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Nope, followed to original.

    • Paul Sellers on 21 September 2014 at 5:30 am

      Its not necessary. Most tables over the last couple of centuries have tops screwed down. What you cannot do is glue them down. Screws flex and holes have slack. A table up to three feet wide is not a problem.

  4. Mike Melendrez on 23 September 2014 at 2:20 am

    Thank you Paul for explaining the screws I really like the design.

  • Alec Garner on Finally Sorted My Tools;David Stanley Auctions; if you're in the UK.
  • Wayne Whalen on Finally Sorted My ToolsMaybe you could open a woodworkers museum and be its curator and demonstrate the use and history of the most interesting pieces. You could build the display cases made with joints…
  • Daniel Currie on Finally Sorted My ToolsHi there where is the best place to sell vintage tools .I have a Norris 20 1/2 joining plane never been used .Just dont want it to go on eBay and not get what is worth thanks
  • Thomas on Working AlonePaul, you haven't posted since this blog - we're all getting a bit worried I think!
  • Michael Muschal on MisnomersThanks, Paul. I reported that to Ebay. I expect they'll close him up. Found your Essential Tools book and DVD at Rocksmith LTD. Looking forward to reading and following your guidan…
  • Stuart Woodcock on Sharp TalkingHaving been inducted into sharpening knives via the Kangaroo meat industry at 17 in the 1970s (yes i kid you not first for pet meat and then human consumption in France) we only ha…
  • John Besharian on Working AloneWell, Mr. Whalen, you seem a "Glass Half Empty" sort of soul. I can just imagine the sort of toasts you'd give at happy events like, say weddings, for example. If therapy is your p…