My adventures in building a custom bistro table this Summer.

From raw lumber to the finished product.  Even in the raw lumber, you can see the fantastic curl/tiger striping in the top's grain pattern.

From raw lumber to the finished product.  Even in the raw lumber, you can see the fantastic curl/tiger striping in the top's grain pattern.


I'm not content if I'm not creating something.  So this Summer, I took on a new adventure and built a custom curly maple bistro table.  But I needed some guidance, so I worked with Master Furniture Maker, Roger Myers, here in New Hampshire.  Roger is a kind, patient and incredibly skilled instructor.

Close-up of the top grain.  We used curly maple for the top and traditional maple for the curved apron and legs.  

Close-up of the top grain.  We used curly maple for the top and traditional maple for the curved apron and legs.

 


Maker's mark:  Every craftsman needs to sign his work, so I put my mark underneath the top of the table.  

Maker's mark:  Every craftsman needs to sign his work, so I put my mark underneath the top of the table.

 

What I learned:

Over the course of 40 hours and almost three months, Roger patiently showed me how to do it right - the way a master furniture builder would create a table.  And the results show. 

The biggest surprise for me was how difficult the process was :  My shirt, damp with sweat and sawdust, I gained a true appreciation for the process.  Even more, it would take months, or years, to master just one stage of building the small table I built.   But the arduous nature of the task made the end result all the more rewarding. 

 

My wife and I will be enjoying coffee at our new table long after our empty-nest years.  After that, our children will receive its legacy of conversation and connection.

 

 


Me, hand-planing one of the tapered table legs.  

Me, hand-planing one of the tapered table legs.

 


The table gets its own glam-shot photo shoot upon completion. I sized the bistro table to be able to accommodate one person at each end, and possibly one on the long side.  The table is designed to go against a wall. The table can also double as a writing desk.  [I'm also an author.]

Click to enlarge image.

 

Click to enlarge image.

Click to enlarge image.


The expert who helped me build it:  My sincere thanks to Master Furniture Maker, Roger Myers, for his patience, expert and skilled instruction, and friendship.  You can view Roger's period work, restoration work, and custom projects at his website, StrathamWood Studios.


Posted on July 27, 2015 .