Shak{er}ing It Up {Part One}

I am what I refer to as “ornate sensitive” when it comes to furniture. I like my lines clean and simple but warm. Furniture most people wouldn’t consider ornate, I do. I certainly have an appreciation for ornate furniture, for the craftsmanship that goes into it.

Yes, Andy teases me about this, especially because it’s entirely arbitrary and confusing. I can see a dresser with curved drawers on the front even if the rest is basic and find it ornate; a week later I can see a vintage side table with turned legs at a flea market and love it.

Your guess is as good as mine why I feel this way. I guess I just like my details and art on the walls and pieces I can easily change out, and not incorporated into my furniture.  The best way I can explain it is that I have a visceral reaction to the thought of ornate furniture in my house. I know that’s weird, but it’s true.

What this essentially comes down to is that I like Shaker and Mission style furniture. So when Andy showed me these side tables from Fine Woodworking and asked if I wanted him to build me two out of walnut we were given I eeked with joy. I loved the simplicity of them, how they let the wood speak for itself and the clean lines. Even though I really love the straight legs, I wasn’t too picky either way. Andy decided to go with the turned ones since the walnut grain would look gorgeous through them—and it meant he could use the lathe.

The lathe almost always wins.

Andy has been working so hard lately on things for the house, and getting his wood shop in order, he really needed to do something or himself. Making fine furniture is something he loves to do for us as a family so when he gets the chance to he absolutely will. I let Andy have some time to himself down in the wood shop but when I couldn’t take it any longer I grabbed the Nikon and headed into the cave.

I never get tired of seeing, and being amazed by, the beauty of wood behind bark. I mean, look at this.

The further I walked into the shop, the more pieces I saw coming together. First I saw Andy on the Jointer shaving the bark off the sides of each board and beautiful walnut shavings methodically coming out of the base.

Then I looked up and saw the back workbench covered in walnut boards. Beautiful, dark, rich, walnut boards. Andy informed me these were going to be the top of each side table.

A glance to my left showed some of the legs ready for turning, and a few more boards glued up together to make the other legs. Andy showed me how they were glued and said if you glue the faces when they set up and are turned round it will be harder to tell they aren’t once piece—as long as you match the grain and color.

It’s hard to believe each of these legs were ripped from pieces that looked like this.

I still haven’t decided whether we’ll be using them in the livingroom or up in our bedroom. I’m just excited to start getting some handmade shaker furniture around here. I think of these items as heirloom items we can eventually pass down and I love the thought of it.

I’m so excited to see how these turn out. Today Andy has been putting the tops together and turning the legs, so I’ll be back later this week with an update on them. You may wonder why I didn’t wait until they were done to post on this. I try to show things in real time so I knew I had to write about these as soon as I could. Just. So. Excited.

Until the next update you can just imagine me doing the running man with a huge dorky grin on my face every time I walk into the basement and see these in process.

I love being married to a carpenter/construction/work ox.

Happy Woodworking,

Heather

 

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