As one gains familiarity and experience with the craft, you begin to examine other furniture with a much more critical eye. What’s even worse (and my wife will attest) is I get the “I can build that!” syndrome. And truthfully, I think I can do a better job at it. In today’s consumer society, everything is made out of particle board with veneer and screwed together. The bad thing about my syndrome is that time is one of my most rarest resources… so I don’t get around to building everything I claim I can build better.
A long time ago, we’d bought some living room tables from Lazy Boy. At the time, I thought they were really nice pieces and Pam loved them because they were in an Arts & Crafts style (which we both like). Keep in mind, this is when I was in the Lowe’s-pre-dimensioned-Oak-with-butt-joints-and-frame-nails stage of woodworking. And then we had kids. The tables have seen two moves and have been spilled on and mistreated. And one day, the nice Oak finish started to delaminate, exposing a cardboard-like material underneath – yuck. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back; what I failed to mention (leading up to this) is that if you bump the table at all, it sways like a tree in the wind due to the butt-and-screw joinery.
So, with pressure to do something about it from the wife, I am now putting my “I can build that! (and better)” hypothesis to the test. Even better, I am going to make this my first project done entirely by hand (no power tools… except for maybe sanding/finishing).
The gameplan is to replicate it dimensionally so that I can scalp the glass panels for use in the new table. As I’ve worked on pieces in the past, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t like Oak too much – most of the boards I’ve seen are too uniform. If I’m going to build something, I like to see unique irregularities in it to make it one-of-a-kind, otherwise known as knots and figure. My go-to’s for this are Elm and Walnut. I have a some Elm left over from my Beer Cabinet build, so it looks like the table will be done with solid Elm.
We move in about 2 months, so I better get building.