Popular Woodworking 2001-08 № 123, страница 55
This reproduction of a Harvard classic was inspired
by some good old-fashioned competition.
Part of the job requirement of being a self-employed custom woodworker is self-promotion. Word of mouth works well, but starting the word can sometimes be a challenge. That's where competitions come into play. There are a number of woodworking shows every year throughout the country where I set up my booth and sell my wares. Many of them also have some type of woodworking competition. The competition can be organized so woodworkers compete in a certain category (professional, amateur, intarsia, turning). But it was a slightly different competition that brought me to the table pictured here. It's called a "side-by-side," and the idea is that an original piece, usually an antique of some note or reputation, is chosen by the event's organizers, and the competitors build a reproduction to mimic the piece.
The table shown is attributed to the Shaker community at Harvard, Mass., and is believed to have been used as a work table, side table or writing desk. The table is a wee bit wobbly, and the drawer may have been added at a later time. On the original, the drawer is maple, while the rest of the table is cherry. My desk is
also cherry and maple, but the finish is done so it's hardly obvious.
As mentioned above, the reproduction (like the original) is a little unsteady. My recommendation for your piece is to make the stretcher between the legs considerably wider (6" or more), perhaps even cutting a decorative arch in the stretcher to lighten the look. Depending on how you plan to use the table, you may want to take that into account.
This is a fairly simple table with some basic mortise-and-tenon construction, so contrary to Shaker philosophy I wanted to adorn the heck out of this thing with some amazing flame cherry. Quite honestly, I'm not allowed to tell you where I got it, and I don't know if I'll ever get any like this again. Suffice it to say you should look for some nicely figured cherry, then follow the cutting list to rough the material to the sizes given.