Jon Carroll Woodworks

Restaurant Tables! (And Benches Three…)

20160815_135613_richtonehdr.jpgMan that was one busy August…

So it seems I’m getting to be known to do a little woodwork around my area. First and foremost, I have to thank my wife for allowing me the some 70+ hours over 10 days to complete this project.

A friend of mine was referred to me to help with a bit of a bind. His wife was in the midst of opening a new restaurant, here in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. The Gallery Grill. A nice little spot Featuring the work of local artisans available for sale and some great eats too!

He came with a website plan, a quick sketch of how he wanted the design modified and some basic measurements. One ‘Barn Style’ Table @ 48” x 60”, three more @ 30” x 52” and Three Pedestal Tables with 24” x 24” Tops. A fairly big job with a short deadline.

The build went very well, all made from dimensional pine, it was easy to work and looked great when finished. The first couple days of building, he came over to the shop and I put him on the tools. Together we managed to get the leg assemblies for the large table put together as well as the majority of the roughing out work on the medium tables. The rest was up to me, as he was up to his ears in other restaurant related tasks.

Over the next 8 days, it became a series of gluing up panels, flattening panels, trimming out panels, final flattening of said panels… All hand planed…. And I’m pretty sure I picked the most humid days we saw this summer to do this.

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The joinery for the bases included half lap with mahogany pegs for the lover short stretchers, Pegged M&T for the uppers and half lap dovetail on the long stretcher.

On the last day, my friend came back and helped me with attaching all the tops, loaded them up and took them down to the restaurant. There, we measured out the size the benches would need to be to fit the space – home I went to draw up plans for the benches and leave the finishing of the tables to him 🙂

On the note of the finishing, he did an amazing job. Stained then many coats of Poly, all sanded and buffed to a silky smooth finish.

It took about another 25 hours to build the benches. Kind of a farmhouse meets shaker style I guess. All of them feature a thru-tenon cross stretcher as well as a half dovetailed stretcher reinforced with cut nails, supporting the seat board. A nice clean design I think, and one they were happy with.

All in all a fun process of using both machines and hand tools to complete. I learned a lot when I reviewed the hours kept and what was actually accomplished. A very rewarding experience was also having a “woodworking greenhorn” in the shop and the light bulbs that were lit when he saw, and tried some of the tricks I use to make things happen quickly and accurately. Now to finish that darn T.V. Stand…

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