Spring 2023 Update

Since Christmas I have been working on a variety of jobs – some of which are for other furniture makers.

One such job was for my good friend John Heuchan who makes a lot of fitted furniture with his business Laurel and Wood. He needed a spare pair of hands for a large TV unit that he was fitting at the lovely Kinpurnie Castle, Angus and so we loaded the van and had a road trip. The castle was very much a building site and it was freezing outside so we were very glad the heating was on!

Following that I made a desk for John in oak and oak veneered MDF and a couple of bedside cabinets which were subsequently painted. And then, to help another furniture maker I made my first two demi-lune tables in beech and MDF (also to be painted later). I also made a new kitchen drawer in oak for my mum, with integral cutlery dividers and undermounted soft-close runners, to replace her 35 year old plastic drawer which had finally given up the ghost.

Dali Console Tables

And then came the most interesting request – or should I say challenge. It was to make two “Dali” console tables in solid oak – 1800 mm long and with six legs each. The challenge was that there was hardly a right-angle to be seen in the design – and a lot of manual freeform shaping would be required. The first picture shows the ‘square’ framework from which the tables were constructed.

I first used an angle-grinder to remove the bulk of the material and begin the 3-dimensional sculpting of the curves on the legs. There are a variety of shapers that can be used with an angle-grinder and they can remove wood extremely quickly – so the key is not to remove too much wood. After lots of grinding, the legs were then subjected to lots of sanding to give a near final shape. The top rails and the stretchers were then also shaped in isolation before all being assembled and glued together. The top frame was then rebated and the top board was then dropped into place and affixed. Much more shaping was then required to blend all of the joints and the top surface to make it look like one organic piece. The tables were subsequently lacquered but they are seen here in their naked unfinished form.

I am amazed that it all turned out so well. I had been very apprehensive about the sheer volume of manual shaping that would be required but in the end it went better than expected and I hope you like the results (although it is difficult to get good photos of two items that are 1.8 m long).

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