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Roman Benches II

Roman Benches II

Roman workbenches have not left this world. In fact, some people might argue that they are still used today and are called shaving horses. While I don’t have a dog in that particular fight, I do have some evidence to present on how they were used up through the 20th century in their original form: … Read more »

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The First Recorded Workbench

The First Recorded Workbench

The first time I saw an 18th-century workbench, I thought: Wow. That will never work. But then I built some of these benches (dozens, actually), and I am a huge fan of the form’s stability, simplicity and purity. So the first time I saw a Roman workbench from 50 A.D., I thought: Hmmm. That would … Read more »

The post The First Recorded Workbench appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

The First Recorded Workbench

The First Recorded Workbench

The first time I saw an 18th-century workbench, I thought: Wow. That will never work. But then I built some of these benches (dozens, actually), and I am a huge fan of the form’s stability, simplicity and purity. So the first time I saw a Roman workbench from 50 A.D., I thought: Hmmm. That would … Read more »

The post The First Recorded Workbench appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

The First Recorded Workbench

The First Recorded Workbench

The first time I saw an 18th-century workbench, I thought: Wow. That will never work. But then I built some of these benches (dozens, actually), and I am a huge fan of the form’s stability, simplicity and purity. So the first time I saw a Roman workbench from 50 A.D., I thought: Hmmm. That would … Read more »

The post The First Recorded Workbench appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Building a Forgotten Classic from Kaare Klint

Building a Forgotten Classic from Kaare Klint

For the last few years, I’ve studied the world of campaign furniture and the history of the Roorkhee chair, an English form of military seating that appeared in the last days of the 19th century. Most people have never heard of the Roorkhee. But many people have seen the chair that evolved from the Roorkhee … Read more »

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A Slight Change in the Teaching Plan

A Slight Change in the Teaching Plan

This week I’m in Bavaria to teach two woodworking classes at the workshops of Dictum GmbH. (And to visit my favorite coffee machine in the entire world.) However, instead of pushing the machine’s buttons over and over, I’m teaching in a different workshop and making friends with a different coffee machine. Because of heavy rains … Read more »

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Plans: A Simple Bowsaw

Plans: A Simple Bowsaw

While I have used a lot of bowsaws in the last two decades, I’ve never made one. But during the last few weeks, I’ve made five. The reason is that I fly to Germany on Friday to teach a couple woodworking classes. One class on building Roorkhee chairs, plus a one-day class on building a … Read more »

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The Simple ‘Dirty Mahogany’ Finish

The Simple ‘Dirty Mahogany’ Finish

Here is one of my favorite finishes for any wood that is ring-porous or diffuse-porous. I call it “dirty mahogany” or “creepy janitor.” First a warning: I think this finish looks like crap on woods that have a closed pore structure, such as maple or cherry, and on softwoods. It looks great on anything with … Read more »

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Natural Edge Walnut Dining Table

When she was young, her father made a small coffee table from a natural edged plank of wood he’d found.. She asked me whether I could make a dining table that was also ‘natural’, to seat six. Her dining room was small and had enough room for something 32 by 72 aprox. She was a friend I’d met on social media… and I told her I’d look for a flitch (single slice, natural slab, cut from the tree) of that size.

She lives 2 hrs drive from my shop so I suggested I send her emails with photos attached to show her what I got, what it will look like and how I’d cut it down to it’s final shape. She wanted it fairly dark in color but I always try to find a wood that is close to the finished color rather than using a stain, as it can obscure the grain to some extent.

I found her a flitch from a walnut tree that HAS to be over a hundred years old. Then I sanded & wet an area to indicate what it will look like.

She agreed with my suggestions and so we established the shape of the top. I had removed the bark (both ‘inner’ & ‘outer’) and the blond, cambium layer… and then rounded the four corners. The sapwood & heartwood are what’s left.

I used solid walnut for the legs ( 4″ X 4″).  I positioned the legs wide enough to make sure the table would be stable ( the top is only 30″ wide).

I sanded it using finer & finer grit sand paper until very smooth. Every woodworker knows what happens when you start applying your first coat. This surface was no exception.

I made my legs & skirts with chamfered edges (45 degree angled cuts). A single coat to seal the table top’s bottom side and then five coats to all visible surfaces.

I used table bracket hardware (so that the legs were removable for transport).

I didn’t ave the heart to reduce the table tops thickness (2″) so it ended up weighing about 175 lbs. This table will be around long after we who are reading this are gone.

I have a very happy client. Happy clients are the best salespeople you can find (or make).

 

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc. / 6.13

 

 

Roorkhee Chair Design Document

Roorkhee Chair Design Document

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably seen a Roorkhee chair (or its children) at some point in your life. The chair was supposedly invented at the end of the 19th century for the British military. But it had a long life that extended into the 20th century and influenced many modern designers: Marcel … Read more »

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