Harvest Table

30 Mar

I’ve been working somewhat steadily away at the harvest table, which is proving to be much tougher than expected, even by my standards and I’m used to pain and difficulty for every project.  The wood for this table is, as I said before, from the bottom of Lake Ontario, from what used to be Toronto’s docks. When the city expanded, the backfill from the construction was pushed into the lake, effectively burying the timbers that made up the old docks. They were rediscovered in the late 90’s during the condo construction along the Lakeshore. It was at that time that Lambos (don’t know if he has a last name), the person whom I bought the wood from, came into possession of said timbers.

I’ve been fascinated by Chinese and Japanese joinery for some time, and I decided that I would learn make the joints using the traditional tools for this table. I did a bit of research and I decided to go with Japanese joinery, specifically temple joinery, rather than Chinese furniture joinery, for two reasons. First, I saw the table as a kind of small building, and second, the Japanese used more soft woods, and since I will be using pine, I thought it more appropriate. The two books I’ve been using as reference are The Genius of Japanese Carpentry and The Art of Japanese Joinery. One thing that I learned from these books, is, that the joinery that I’m using came originally from China and Korea, when Buddhism was introduced to the Japanese Islands. So in that sense, I will still be using Chinese joinery. Anyway, artistically arranged below are the tools I bought for now, a block or smooth plane, chamfer plane, a ryoba saw and a chisel. It’s just to get started, I’d like to also pick up a marking gauge and a slick, or paring chisel, but we’ll see.:)

The wood has been cut to length, and is now ready to be rough cut.

Lambos ripping the beams in half.

The pine is exceptionally fine grained. It’s not as clear(free of knots) as I’d like, and the wood is actually warping as we cut it, because of the built up stress inside the wood, but I think the results will be beautiful… I hope.

Some of the slabs that Lambos is aging in his shop. These will be ready to use in a year or so.


One Response to “Harvest Table”


  1. From Wharf to Table – Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard - May 19, 2010

    […] The rough design for the table was done by landscape architect Jane Hutton and OCAD graduate Casey Wong built the table with the help of Mark Wilson of Metal Art Studio. As you may have noticed in a […]

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