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Making my Wedding table

P1050767This 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.

P1050775You 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.

P1050783My 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.


  1. davidos on 23 April 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I love the design of this table I have admired it for some time I look forward to the upcoming wwmc classes. And some day when I hope to built one .as a matter of interest have you ever built one in pine ?

    • Paul Sellers on 23 April 2015 at 8:39 pm

      No, but pine would be lovely too.

  2. john sayles on 23 April 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Great piece of writing today Paul — I like the way your “married” the themes of matrimony and wood joinery.

  3. russell on 23 April 2015 at 9:04 pm

    that is a beautiful table,art at its best,not overly ornate,actually quite simple in appearance,but with a few hints of advanced joinery.
    that for me shows a craftsman that is at peace with himself,a mind that is clear and to the point.
    i like overly ornate pieces just to be in ore, at the amount of skill and to feel disbelief that its even possible to make by hand,but i think the greatest challenge is to create a piece with JUST enough features to keep the eye wondering and brain engaged and still stir your emotions.
    regarding that your table the words that spring to mind are understated,at peace and harmony.
    rambling i may be but if it doesnt stir emotions then it hasnt succeeded.
    sir i doff my hat to you.

  4. Randal on 23 April 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Beautifully made and written and obviously from the heart.

  5. Mark Richards on 24 April 2015 at 8:25 am

    No small artistry of words or hands here. Thank you for the inspiration.

  6. SYLVAIN on 24 April 2015 at 9:28 am

    Very nice design: combination of aesthetic and stability.
    No wobbling
    – in one direction due to the trestle design and
    – in the other direction due to the lower rail but also to the combination of housing/dado (like in the workbench aprons) and tenon in the two long aprons. I guess the housing avoids the splitting of the apron that would be caused by a torsion of the tenon (in the absence of the housing).

    Feature: no host annoyed by the legs if you want to put 8 people around the table.

    Interesting tricks: taping the protective scrap so you don’t need two persons to install the cramps and transforming the little demo bench in a big assemby table.


  7. JR on 24 April 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Lovely design. Grand workmanship. Making memories, making futures, making relationships are all key. Thank you.

  8. Simon on 24 April 2015 at 6:29 pm

    That’s beautiful, Paul. You’re as astounding an author as you are a craftsman.

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