Basic Table Construction
A kitchen table of Tommy’s design, gentle curves pull a timeless piece into the 21st century. Despite a contemporary feel, the clean lines and soft curves give the table a lightness suitable for any home. This project teaches mortise-and-tenon table construction while introducing pattern-making, flush-cutting, circle-cutting, and dealing with wood movement across large surfaces. Additionally, you learn a variety of ways to produce an alternative tapered leg. These techniques can be used from coffee tables to dining tables, and even form the basis of some desks.
Follow along as Tommy tackles this Bedroom Set project. More an overview than a step-by-step, the Bedroom Set videos show a number of important techniques, like making a cove cut with a table saw, using a spring jointer and finding tolerances. Wood selection plays a big role in this project, as Tommy found out.
The Pilgrim Blanket Chest is a great project to help you master good machining techniques and table saw work. You’ll get plenty of practice with dados, stop dados, raised panels, cutting stiles and rails, and top and bottom panels. The chest will also require some router table work for the beads and stop chamfers around the panels. There’s some great relief carvings that will involve steady hand router work as well. All in all, the Blanket Chest project is really just a big lesson on frame and panel construction. But don’t be intimidated! It’s much easier than it looks at first.
Tommy’s Mt Everest: The Bombe Secretary. On a trip to the RISD Museum in 2006, Tommy found his greatest of all inspiration in a Serpentine Front Bombe Secretary on display. What would soon be dubbed “the beast” took Tommy a solid year to complete. This video series is an absolute treasure, documenting the creation of Tommy’s biggest achievement to date, which has since been on display at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the RISD Museum and in Doric Hall of the Massachusetts State House.
The Fed Table covers some pretty basic Federal style construction and embellishment: four different legs and feet, stringing, bell flowers, two bandings, a cool sand-shaded fan and a dovetailed drawer with a veneered front. Initially a 207 Forum hit, the Fed Table was attempted by numerous forum members and had it’s own Fed Table thread, complete with a detailed procedure list, stock list and tool list – an internet first at the time.
Maple Desk Finish
It’s the step that leaves many projects incomplete: finishing. Last but certainly not least, finishing takes center stage in this series as Tommy, Al and friend Mark Libby take you through the step by steps as they apply a shellac finish to Tommy’s Maple Desk. Pay attention to the “what not to do” list during the prepping phase and don’t cut corners–the finish will reveal any carelessness.
Shaker Step Stool
This simple and utilitarian project serves as a perfect introduction to woodworking. The step stool requires very little lumber or tools. Its traditional Shaker design gives it a quiet beauty, making it a good fit for any home. It can be used for getting to high shelves and cabinets, kids reaching a sink, dogs getting into bed, and a host of other things. This project is a beginner’s course in board preparation and hand-cut dovetails. Experts can use the small stature to really nit-pick their design and execution.
A deceptively subdued piece, this tool box serves as the basis of a variety of casework, from a simple dresser to a slant-top desk and even a highboy. This project provides an introduction to woodworking fundamentals, including milling, sharpening, board layout, dovetailed case construction, and drawer construction. Despite its title, this project has a myriad of possible uses: jewelry case, collections chest, silverware case, etc. Changing lumber choice, dimensions, and drawer layout allows for personalization not only for space, but also function.