Why would anyone build furniture and cabinets from wood if they can buy them? For me there are three reasons woodworking is part of my busy life. First is the thrill of construction. It’s deeply satisfying to buy lumber, mark it, cut it, then bring it together into something beautiful. A few hours in my workshop is not only fun and productive, but it livens up the rest of my life for hours afterwards. I call this the “workshop after-glow”. I always feel better when I’ve made something in my shop recently. If you’ve never experienced this tonic, you’re missing something big.
The second reason to love woodworking is the results it brings to your life and your family. With a little practice you can build things better than you can buy in stores – better and perfectly in tune with what you find beautiful. Except for our kitchen chairs and a few other items, I’ve made every piece of furniture in our house. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are some people in the world who feel the urge to buy the things they see and like. Woodworkers tend to be different. We’re “makers”. When we see something we like, our urge is to figure out how to build it. Buying feels like cheating. Do you know what I mean?
The third reason I love woodworking and creating has to do with time. When I make something and make it well, I’m launching that creation into history. It’ll live long beyond my time, and I find myself wondering about the future. Who will use the solid cherry kitchen table top I made in 2015? Who will inherit the bed I made for my wife and I just before we got married in June 1988? Who will I pass on the “R. Maxwell” metal stamp my great grandfather used to mark the items he made as a cabinetmaker in the early 1900s? Woodworking is at least partially about making history in your own, small way. At least it is for me, anyway.
All this said, enjoying the thrill of woodworking has its challenges. Time is the biggest one for me. Being a father of five, a relatively new grandfather, an owner of a large rural property, and a part-time farmer and builder, time is what I’m most short of. I’m not complaining, but time is why I’ve come to learn how to make great things out of wood while also using my time efficiently. It usually comes down to design, and my EASY-BUILD TABLE is a case in point. It’s solid, traditional, honest and yet quick to build. I made it in the few days after getting word that our adopted soon-to-be daughter was ready for us to pick up from South Africa back in 2008. Her name would be Ellie, and now in 2017 she’s 9 years old. The books I read to her at bedtime sit on the shelves of the table you see in the plans here.
I’m a stickler for solid wood, so when it came to building Ellie’s table I wanted to combine all-wood construction with a few modern conveniences to speed progress without interfering with quality and honesty. My table design also includes the use of hidden metal hardware that eliminates the need for complicated joinery, while also creating a more reliable, crack-proof table top and shelf. The results are fast to build, yet high quality. You can also easily modify my EASY-BUILD TABLE for different purposes and situations.
I’ve spent the last 30 years teaching people how to work with wood, and the biggest advance in tools during this time has no teeth, makes no shavings and will never cut your finger. The biggest “power tool” advance in woodworking is the internet. It allows us to learn new techniques from other woodworkers in a way that was never possible before. It also allows me to come into your shop virtually and show you all the tricks for building my EASY-BUILD TABLE. I use videos to supplement plans and photos to come as close as possible to being right in your shop as you cut, sand, join and finish. If you’ve ever wanted to build a great table, this flexible, customizable design may be for you. Click here to instantly download a copy of the plans and instructional videos risk-free and give it a try. Everything you need except wood and glue is right here. And I promise, it won’t take a lot of time to build this table, either!