the Carpentry Way: A Square Deal                                                          

A Square Deal

I recently connected with a new client from the west coast who is interesting in commissioning one, or maybe two, pieces of furniture. This person, 'Client H' I'll call him, spent several years living in Japan and thus has had some exposure to Japanese architecture and furnishings. He has a strong liking for Claro Walnut, so that is the medium on this first piece, a square coffee table. Client H has kindly allowed me to blog about the design and the build, so here we are.

With the extended hair pulling that has characterized the sideboard design familiar to regular readers I'm sure- a design which is still in process - I had some apprehensions as I started this design, however things flowed rather well and I felt quite pleased with the initial pass through. Not quite shaken out of my sleeve, but close. Walnut can be obtained in some fairly wide pieces, so I chose to take the tack of designing around a 1.5" thick slab top. The legs are about 2.5" square. Overall the table is 38" square, 19" tall, a simple 2:1 ratio.

Here are the preliminary views, and I haven't had any feedback yet from the client so I'm not sure if all this will get tossed or not, but I thought I'd share it all the same.


As you can see, bronze leveling feet are fitted. All solid wood, no fasteners or glue anticipated otherwise in the construction.

A similar view, this time with the Claro clicked 'on':


The waist is composed of several 'pillow block' like pieces, in simplified form at this stage. Those pieces are shown in a contrasting color, but at this point I'm undecided as to whether to introduce a secondary wood or not. I think the client had some interest in 'accents' without ornateness, so this is a step in that direction. Making the waist out of separate pieces is a nod to architecture, allows even air circulation to the top, and generally speaking I like negative spaces in a piece

And a worm's eye view:

I decided to offset the surfaces of the 3-way mitered rail to leg junction. All pieces are flat-chamfered, giving a faceted look.

Early days yet, so it will be interesting to see what devolves. After months on end of working with super hard abrasive woods, I am really looking forward to digging into some walnut.  Ahh, medium density....

I hope you'll pop back sometime to see what happens. Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way. On to post 2.