02 Spanish Extension Table Mahogany

Spanish Extension Table in Mahogany

This extension table is very special to me indeed. It was a project that I took on without much more than a picture and a very modest set of hand tools. This was made from Genuine Mahogany and the base was designed from a picture that the client had taken of a table base at a flea market.

I remember it well because I did not have much in the way of tools at the time, and I ended up shaping the legs mostly with a handsaw, chisels, and a #2 carving gouge! You would think this would be the most challenging aspect of the build, but in fact it was sawing the aprons in half after it was assembled to make it an extension table that had me the most concerned.

When I look back on the project, I know that because of the way in which I had to build it, this is one of the most personal pieces that I've ever made. It truly was the first success at an intentional piece with a purpose. Honestly, when I think about it, I can't believe how things worked out. I was genuinely a guy with a handsaw and some chisels, a plane, and some clamps and when the client asked if I could build it, what I said was "yes." But the truth of the matter would better have been said as "I guess we will find out!"

I'll always believe that this table was supposed to happen. Because it sure as sunshine shouldn't have. I went after this on a razor thin budget and could literally afford no mistakes. The details likely only matter to me, but rest assured, from start to finish, I was all-in on this project. I can't really describe it, I had no idea what I was doing, but at the same time, just knew I could. I don't necessarily know why I said yes, other than I was supposed to.

I think looking back at our work, especially the early attempts, we generally look at the things we would change and pick out every flaw. Of course there was a time when I looked at this table that way, but now I'm not sure that I would change a thing. This table to me represents the answer to a calling, and the confidence to answer with my heart. I once heard a guy say "it's a poor man that blames his tools" and this piece will always confirm in my mind and heart that those are our tools, our minds and hearts. I built this table with not much more than that, and it defined who I was and could become as a craftsman if I learned that "can't" is a variable, and one that need not be in the equation.

I wish I had more pictures to share of the process, but these are all I could find. I'm deeply thankful to the client, and I hope she and her family enjoy the piece forever.

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