Step right up!


Quarter sawn oak footstool

This past week brought hard rain and even harder work. Though our footstool project officially concluded on Monday, most of the students, myself included, were gluing up their pieces well past the final buzzer. I chose to finish mine with two coats of shellac (a resin secreted by a Southeast Asian bug) followed by a single coat of “wipe-on” polyurethane. To match the stretcher and the inside of the handle with the darker shade of the oak’s end grain, I applied a walnut colored danish oil. Contrary to popular belief, this oil derives from tung and linseed oil, not the sweet pastry.


The side profile


The dovetails


The bat handle

Next up for the twelve week intensive students (or “tweakers” as our teacher fondly refers to us) is designing a case piece that incorporates at least two drawers and a door. Solid wood case construction requires a whole ‘nother level of know-how, with much attention paid to how wood expands and contracts due to shifts in seasonal humidity. Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll apply a number of new joints and techniques (and gibberish) including frame and panels, grooves and dados, sliding dovetails, mitered edges, slip tenons, and of course, bull noses.

Straying as far as possible from my quaint country footstool, I hope to build a quirky, versatile modern piece that acts as an entry table and hat rack. Over the next few days, I’ll transform my rough sketches into a working construction drawing and select the best looking lumber. If all goes well, in a month’s time I will have completed my second piece of furniture. If all goes really well, it will have stopped raining by then too.


3 Responses to Step right up!

  1. chelsea says:

    this looks gorgeous. i’m so proud of you!

  2. chelsea says:

    …also, no sweat stains!

  3. janet hogan says:

    hey johnny, great job…your could sell this at Briggs H as an antique replica…..enjoy AND YES,,,THIS RAIN MUST STOP

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