Adventures in Drawing 2×4 Furniture

I always start with a sketch, in this case a nice colorful sketch! I’d picked up some new art markers and wanted to give them a try.

My sketches are generally functional, with joinery details and a few measurements.

Sawhorse Sketch


This Table is Kicking My Ass! – Beginnings

I should explain… this began as a press table for the printing company I work for. It’s based on a craftsman library table – super sized. It took only ten minutes to draw up – way back in December 2012.

I normally don’t share work in progress, but I need help – the notion that someone is looking may shame me to action.

On an icy December 22nd I drove to the millworks and bought stout hickory lumber to build the legs and frame. Over the next couple weeks I glued up legs, chopped mortises, cut tenons – all cool. Hickory is the stuff used to make hammer handles and bridges. This table has an 8 ft span, it’s a bit like a small bridge. Hickory is so hard and tough, nothing works easily; the pronounced grain is prone to tearout when planing, sawing requires an ultra sharp blade, scorches easily and it’s HEAVY. There were a few minor mishaps, one of the ends took a spill from the bench top and flattened my work light. Another tipped over, taking a good chunk out of the plaster wall. In spite of these minor calamities – the frame was assembled and coated by February 23rd.

First trip to Millworks

December 22, 2013 at the millworks.

Gluing up Legs

December 29, 2012 Gluing up legs.

Dry Fit End

January 16, 2013 Dry fit ends  – moving along well.

Assembled Frame No Paint

February 15, 2013 Fitting the stretchers – remember, I’m only really working on weekends.

Frame with dividers and paint

February 23, 2013 Looks great – but I’m about to make my first mistake…


This Table is Kicking My Ass! – Introduction

I’m going public with this project – the massive hickory work table. I’ll describe it further – later. I’m late for work already. When a project has me in a dither (or a choke hold in this circumstance), I’ll occasionally make a Next-Three-Things list:

1. Remove drawers #1, 4 and 5.

2. Find my number stamps.

3. Stamp the fronts, back, sides and bottoms so I won’t mix them up.

The table has five drawers – dovetailed, grooved, slotted and carved. My goal is to finish the table in November. Stay tuned – I need your help!


Teeth haven’t been brushed in decades

Sheffield Warrented Rusty Teeth

All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.

Wikipedia is no source for pick-up lines, but give it a try. Better off grabbing a Bell’s Two Hearted IPA from the fridge and restoring a hand saw. Use the money saved by staying out of the pub to purchase a really nice, used saw vise.

It’s not quite so bad as it looks. This Sheffield Warranted 8 pt crosscut saw has potential. The rust has been enhanced in PhotoShop. There are 2 or 3 hours to be spent scraping and sanding the plate before sharpening the saw. There will be minor pitting, no big deal. This old saw will be back to work by the weekend.

Most importantly, the geometry is ideal for sharpening with a triangular file. This saw has never been sharpened, the teeth are uniform with no signs of damage. After a light jointing of the tops with a long file in a jig, the gullets help guide the direction of the file. By keeping each file stroke at a consistent angle, the file will clear that crud from the gullet and after a stroke or two, smooth the working edge of each tooth.

Put on some music and relax – this is easy.