This week’s flown by and we accomplished a great deal working every day. I have pretty much finished of the latest project which is a dining table I designed for my son Peter’s wedding back on 2,000 when I made it from some very dark and beautiful Texas black walnut. Making this one took me back to the long days I spent making this and other pieces for their wedding gifts.
You see working with my hands gives me something much more laudable than merely making a living but making memories, making futures, making relationships. I recall all of the details I developed for the design to make it unique. The dovetailed apron carried by two strong-back transition rails carries the whole table trestle-style but with an apron that anchors the top and allows the use of turn buttons. Today we managed the final glue up and that’s always its own great reward.
My joints lay cut so my saws and chisels lie silenced by the completions intersecting each one. They interlock, clasped as fingers interlocked might—no air between tight facets, no space for slackness and gentle, light compression remains. Yes, I glue them together, as the Egyptians did 5,000 years ago. The voice of the man mentoring my training 50 years ago floods my mind many times. “Marry them.” he said. I married my 40 joint parts today for the 150,000th time and locked each to its partner and my table came to rest in an interactive exchange of unity and oneness—a marriage of permanence replaced the diversity of 30 parts and a lifetime of usefulness became an inheritance.