Author: Jeff Branch

Hot Summer Days in the Workshop

The pastor at my church once said Alabama seasons run like this: Winter, Early Summer, Summer and then Late Summer. The implication here is Alabama is hot most of the time. This is an exaggeration; it is really hot now, but I would call June (getting hot), July, August, September and October (cooling off) as the hot months of the year. This summer has not been a scorcher; I think we have been at or over 100 degrees only a day or two at the most, but when adding the effects of humidity, there have been some tough days. And it’s the humidity that affects me the most. One evening this past week, I thought about getting in a little woodworking after dinner. I opened the door to my basement workshop and the heat and humidity coming from my non air conditioned workshop made it feel worse than what was actually going on outside. So, no woodworking that evening. And that is the way it has been since my last post. I have had to …

Montreat Side Table Part 8: Making Panels

I had this odd feeling as I began the next step for bringing my Montreat Side Table design to life. After adding some distinctive design elements to the table (see this post), I returned to some very basic woodworking. I began breaking down and milling stock to make panels. These panels will become the bottom and middle shelf as well as the top of the table. Excitement builds as a project begins to take shape. And that is what has been happening as I added the walnut slats to the sides and back. Now, it seems that forming these needed panels isn’t so exciting. But then that is the challenge: Find an exciting, even creative side to this next step; a step which could be considered among the most mundane of woodworking tasks. Let’s take a look at the next step in construction… As shown above, I will next make the items highlighted in blue the largest of which is the table top measuring 24-1/2″ deep by 28-1/2″ long. I created a material cutting diagram …

The Montreat Side Table: Part 7 Working With Walnut

There are several firsts in this project – the first time I’ve added modern design elements to a table (the legs); the first time I’ve used tongue and groove joinery with a web frame and the first time I’ve used walnut. Walnut; after decades of woodworking, this week was the first time sweeping walnut’s dark brown sawdust from my shop floor. And it is such a gorgeous wood. The dark brown color has hints of pink and purple and the board I sourced from City Hardwoods was wide, mostly clear and flat. I’m using walnut as an alternate color for the side and back slats as well as the drawer pull. This is the point in the project where it gets really fun because it’s these 17 slats which brings the most distinction to the table… Once I obtained my beautiful piece of walnut, I quickly went to the Alabama Woodworkers Guild workshop where I got help re-sawing it in half. My bandsaw is still out of service. Fortunately I have several options for bandsaws …