Table for Tammy

With the dust settled from the clock and the shop cleaned up there was one project I needed to do before starting on house and yard work for the spring.  My daughter has long complained about the bedside table arrangements in her room.  OK it wasn’t that long but it was frequent. So because I’m how I am I can’t just knock together something too simple.

I started sketching ideas months ago but simply didn’t have time to do much with it.  Most ideas were a fairly simple table with tapered legs and a single drawer – standard fare.  I planned some sort of inlay.

So I interviewed my client. Well I was surprised to hear that butterflies or little bumblebees were out.  She actually liked some stylized bellflower like objects and stringing.  We talked about what she likes now and what she might like in a few years as she grows up.  She agreed perhaps we should be careful about something that is too kid-like.

I found a picture one night while looking for Pennsylvania Spice Boxes.  It was sold at auction a few years ago.  Here’s a link (I hope it stays working when you click):

It’s a charming little box from Chester Co PA.  I’m not sure what it was but it seemed very authentic.  When I found it I thought it might be a fun little side project.  So I decided to use the inlay as inspiration for the table.

Here’s the table:

TammyTable1 TammyTable2

Pretty standard fare I guess.  I think I invented the inlay in the top (or maybe I just can’t remember where I stole the idea from).  I used an ovolo shape on the top instead of a more common thumbnail or shallow bevel.  I’m not sure it worked but I borrowed it from a shape on the dresser box.  Some little bandings at the cuff left over from the clock too – very subtle.  Cherry and poplar with shellac finish.  I expect that it will darken in time.  It won’t really start looking good for about five years, as the cherry mellows a bit.

So not a period piece but I hope it has that feel.  It was fun to sort of design something from my own head.

The dresser box (below) turned out to be a challenge.  I don’t know how the original was made but I imagined that it might have been full blind mitered dovetails.  A tricky joint but as always I’m up for challenge.  That’s why this the second version of the box – the first one was just a disaster.  The joint turned out pretty well the second time.  Zach Dillinger wrote a useful piece on the Pop Wood website that was a great help.  I only wish I had searched for it BEFORE I tried the first time with less clear directions.  Everything else was pretty straightforward.

DressBoxSo a fun little project.  I don’t think I’m going to let her have the box yet though.  I sort of like it.


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