Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Drop-Leaf Table

This is a new little piece I recently completed: a swing-leg, drop leaf table in honduras mahogany with wenge accents and white pine drawer parts. It started out like most commissions: someone who knows my work approached me about designing and building something for her. She specified the size and the drop-leaf style, though left it to me exactly how it was to function. She also wanted a "rich" wood and a design that was simple and traditional, but with a details that rendered the piece distinctly new and handmade.

Among furniture people there's a lot of mystique surrounding the rule joint. That’s the hinged, curved edge where the leaves meet the top. If it’s not laid out just right, the joint binds or ends up with an ugly gap. The rule joint on this little table is, if I may say so (and I can -- it’s my damn blog) pretty good. Here’s a little secret: it’s really not very hard. In fact, it’s just like most things I do: it doesn’t require any real talent, just a willingness to be careful. Anyone with patience and practice can do good work. You could apply the sentiments of this entire paragraph to the knuckle joints on which the legs swing and the dovetails joints that hold the drawer together: both pretty well done, and in the final analysis, not really brain surgery.

All told, the table turned out pretty well: great wood, simple design, nice details. Not the flashiest thing in the old portfolio, but very satisfying indeed.


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