Errington School of Woodwork and Design, Vancouver Island British Columbia
Woodwork classes, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
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Course 2 – Stool or Table Construction

Yellow Cedar Table

Course Schedules

Course Description

This is a ‘starting point’ course and is very similar to Course 1 - Frame Construction. However, this course is more demanding, there is more work to do, and more components to shape and fit.

The aim of the course is to explore the construction and design of a table with four legs in a square or rectangular arrangement. This traditional order of construction calls for mitred mortise and tenon joints for the upper rails, where they join the legs. Lower rails may be added to the structure. The legs and table top are made from solid wood.

A review of sharpening techniques will be concurrent with practice samples of the joinery required by this project. For example, a sample may be an exact model of the corner of the table frame - a square leg or post, mortised to accept the two mitred tenons of the rails.

Work on the table itself will begin when wood has been chosen and size and proportions have been decided. Full size drawings for the recommended structures will be available for reference. The student, in consultation with the teacher, will decide the shape of the legs and the top.

Course Content

  • Measurement and lay-out
  • Use of the bench and the vise
  • Safety in the workshop
  • The datum of face-side and face-edge
  • The rules of planing
  • Sharpening edge tools
  • Choice of suitable tools
  • Dealing with difficult wood grain including end-grain
  • The choice of suitable hardwoods and their sources
  • Making the mitred haunched mortise and tenon joint as a sample
  • Making the stub mortise and tenon joint as a sample
  • Making the slape joint
  • Making the solid table top from several boards
  • Use of the band saw
  • Use of the table saw
  • Use of the compound mitre saw
  • Use of the drill press
  • Use of the chisel mortiser
  • Use of the jointer
  • Use of the thickness planer
  • Procedures for clamping and gluing
  • Preparing wood to accept a finish coating
  • Exploring various types of finish coatings
  • Exploring various options for developing the appearance and ultimate shape of the table
  • Application of this construction to furniture design

The cost of all materials (wood, glue, abrasive paper, finish coatings, hardware
and fastenings etc.) is the responsibility of the student.