I have always loved Arts & Crafts (A&C) style furniture. I love the dark colors and the bold, simple designs. I am particularly fond of the Gustav Stickley furniture and especially like the designis of one of his workers who, sadly, left us at an all-to-young age of only 51, of heart disease, and that was Harvey Ellis. He only worked for Stickley for 7 months but during that time he was clearly in his element of design and produced some timeless furniture creations are are still being duplicated today.
The piece I am making is a more modern re-creation of what and Arts & Crafts piece in what the 21st century would create with the addition of the storage / magazine rack under the table, making it far more useful while still retaining the design elements of A&C. I have had the good fortune to see a very few original pieces of the Stickley furniture and have been able to do some reading about their methods and have a bit more knowledge in how the factory made their furniture and what methods they used.
My version of this table is 21 inches high, by 14 inces wide and 20 inches long. The legs are 5.5" x 1.5" laminated boards for both strengh and stability. The storage area is 1" off the floor and is comprised of dado lwer of 2" x 3/4" and a dado upper of 1.5" x 3/4" and pickets are 1" wide by 1/3" thick a,d 5" high. Apron pieces are 3" x 3/4"
I pre-finsihed all the wood before assembly starting with water based Amber dye. Following the drying of the dye, a very light coat of 320 grit sandpaper was used to ease the raised grain and make an ultra smooth top coat. I then applied 2 coats of Osmo and let that dry before drilling the holes for the dowels.
There are lots and lots of dowels holes to drill in this piece so you need to make sure you know which piece goes where and label, label, label .. so you don't make an mistake. I did that and still made one small error you can see on film, and how to fix it.
The detail of cutting and installing the pickets is: The upper and lower rails had dados cut in them 1/4" wide and 1/4" deep. The pickets were also cut to be 1/4: thick to fit nicely into those dado cuts. Assembly was inserting the pickets with a small 1" spacer piece installed between pickets and making sure to leave a bit more space in the ends to give balance to the table. Once the pickets and spacers were installed and given their final finish they are almost impossible to see because they blend in so well.
After a dry fit, then a final assembly and glue-up I gave the piece one more coat of Osmo to give it that slight sheen and make the wood silky smooth. I use Osmo most of the time to finish my builds. I love the product, it's easy to use and gives a great finish, unfortunately it is a bit harder to find in North America. For Canadians interested in the product, one place to check out is http://www.produitsEco-Reno.com in the US, Osmo is available from http://www.amazon.com
Copyright Colin Knecht