Pauls coffee table – or is it?

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    I have come here to learn the craft of working wood well. My intention is to learn much like an apprentice the fundamentals of this noble craft, and to hopefully become proficient in, as well as clearly understand said techniques taking those to my projects in the shed.

    I started masterclass a month ago, have procured various second hand planes and tuned them, I have already learnt that reaching for a well sharp hand plane beats sandpaper every time, is also often quicker than firing up the planer as well. The waterstones are out, in the kitchen now to keep the knifes sharp, I have parroted Paul’s sharpening technique, and whilst the action has almost become second nature I have a small block of wood that sits on or beside the stones with a 25deg angle, I use this as a reminder of my starting angle for sharpening just to make sure I’m not to far off. All my chisels have mirror shiny backs and bevels and they cut well too! They also now reside in a nice dovetailed box, I’m looking to build more of those.

    I was fortunate some years ago between jobs to work with a young boatbuilder who has what is regarded by some, as some of the best woodwork skills in the industry here in NZ, I helped him fit out a launch for a client and as the weeks went by he taught me a lot, including a big part of getting a job done right is to have the right tools for the intended job on hand. Later he loaned me the tools to complete a partial refit of my own boat along with a bucket full of motivation, all I did was duplicate some of the existing cabinetry thus no real thought was required, the outcome was, most thought he had done the work for me. From this when my wife & I moved into a barn on a small farmlet, I convinced her (and myself) that I could build our kitchen, I’d already done all the internal work including the the wall framing & linings (more tools) along with the plastering and painting. I researched and discovered the Euro32 system along with Festool tools, bought a really good book written by a Canadian and now we have a very smart kitchen, I also have a great collection of Festool tools and we saved a quid or two too.

    The second table pictured I finished a month or so ago for a client who had spotted the stained glass panel in my studio (I work glass) and asked if they could buy it as it would make the basis of a great coffee table, I offered to make the table for them as well. This was all formed via planner, thicknesser, dropsaw, bandsaw, and lots of sanding, along with Festool domino floating tenons and many hours using sketchup.

    Paul’s design is payment for a load of recycled timber, the table has been built from this timber which originally was used to crate up the mans possessions when he returned to NZ 25yrs ago after working up in Fiji, the timber is both fijian kauri, and island mahogany, lots of nail holes, hammer marks and stains, I don’t really like working with it but it certainly refined my blade sharpening skills as there were also lots of small staples and buried nail pieces.

    Why my comment “or is it” in the header, I have to confess I again used the Domino to joint the table, as I wish to retain all my “first pieces” from the masterclass. In the future I do see myself working this way, utilising the power tools when appropriate, but also maintaining my hopefully learnt skills over the coming while where appropriate.

    I thankyou Paul and Joseph

    Northland, New Zealand

    Mark Armstrong

    Great looking tables 😉

    Dagenham, Essex, England


    Very nice! Thanks for posting.

    Greg Merritt

    Good looking tables…

    Eddy Flynn

    very nice Phill keep up the good work

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK

    david o’sullivan

    beautiful tables, what was the good book written by the Canadian? sounds interesting

    "we can learn what to do, by doing" Aristotle


    beautiful tables, what was the good book written by the Canadian? sounds interesting

    Thanks for your comments on the tables chaps, David the book I referred to is “Building Frameless Kitchen Cabinets” by Danny Proulx, also got a lot of great information and advice from the Festool Owners Forum.


    Northland, New Zealand

    Salko Safic

    You did a wonderful job on both tables it’s great to see how far this forum has deveoloped. This community of ours is a vibrant and talented one lets hope that stay and continues to grow.
    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

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