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Finished table (!)

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Post by Chilli-head on 5th October 2012, 11:42 am

Finished it at last !

Small table, in European oak:

It's slightly tall for a coffee table, but it is meant to go in a room that C-H jnr has almost taken over as a playroom (not the tidier one in the photo !).  It needs to work as a coffee table, breakfast table and for C-H jnr to be able to use for writing, drawing, homework etc.  The latter is the awkward design factor; he needs to be able to sit with his knees under it, so it needs to be tall enough, and not have rails in the way.  So I wanted to avoid deep rails under the top, legs at the corners which can be easily knocked getting in/out, and I didn't want a low level rail which feet would find and jiggle.  I liked the idea of an oak trestle table - reminds me of Uni days - and the crossed rails provide a strong way of connecting the trestles without any other lateral rails. The two cleats at the top of the trestles hopefully will keep the top flat - strategic use of more stable quartersawn boards where critical should help too.

I think it is regrettable that craft subjects such as woodwork are often looked down upon in our education system, when compared with more academic subjects.  Even when I was at school, it was commented on that I chose to do "O"-level woodwork in amongst a mix of more academic topics.  Well, I tell you, that cross piece took quite a bit of trigonometry, solving simultaneous  and quadratic equations to calculate the lengths and angles.  Even still, the quarter of a degree I rounded off turned out to be more significant that I had realised, and made for a few nervous moments of fiddling to sort it out and make things fit.  I now know why I've never seen one made this way before.

Last edited by Chilli-head on 31st May 2018, 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Adrian on 5th October 2012, 1:05 pm

I love it!

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Post by Brenna on 5th October 2012, 1:39 pm

That is stunning.

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Post by polgara on 5th October 2012, 2:54 pm


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Elenor Roosevelt

] Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think...

So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!


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Post by freebird on 5th October 2012, 10:55 pm

Looks really good, CH, though I would like one day to be able to meet a piece of your work face-to-face, so to speak.

Interesting what you say about craft skills being looked down on in mainstream education, in favour of academic subjects. I don't know if you are familiar with the TED conference (Technology, Entertainment and Design). I only heard of it fairly recently, but they have had some interesting people speaking at their conferences. The link below is especially pertinent to what you were saying. I found the speaker funny and entertaining, and I was most interested to hear his theory on why academic learning is prized above other forms of education.

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Post by Chilli-head on 11th October 2012, 11:26 am

Thanks for that link Freebird, as you say, a fun speaker. The last 4 minutes or so, the bit about the choreographer, struck a chord with me. It has struck me that society has a very (artificially) narrow view of what makes a child "normal", and we're quick to label anything outside of that as some sort of disorder that requires special education to normalise - as opposed to accepting a rather wider view of what is normal, and helping people find their niche where they can live a fulfilled life.

Coming back to tables; happily the top of my table is still in one piece. I made it with rather wide boards, and was concerned as to whether it might cup and split on being brought indoors. I asked advice on another -obviously less friendly- forum, and despite about 200 views, nobody offered any help, so I went with it - and so far, so good !
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Post by Dandelion on 11th October 2012, 7:18 pm

Yes, thank you for that link FB - what a brilliant talk. Sadly, education has become even narrower in the six years since that talk was given, and less creative. In our recent Ofsted inspection, Mr D was working with an autistic girl, doing history. He had brought in his long bow and some replica medieval clothes for the girl to try on. The girl had talked to the inspector about how arrows were made, and was excited by what she was doing, but the inspector's response was to question how the learning outcome could be measured. Excitement, interest and creativity are now less important than ever as far as the inspectors are concerned, but boxes must be seen to be ticked.

The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Jaded Green on 11th October 2012, 8:28 pm

Beautiful piece
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