6 Days to Aurora – Day 1

Article - March 9, 2009

Darrell Peart's Aurora TableI have my camera and I have my laptop, so why not go ahead and document my class? Today was Day 1 of what I am calling “6 Days to Aurora”. We are building Darrell Peart’s Arched Aurora End Table: an incredible modern take on some classic Greene & Greene elements. The class is taking place at William Ng’s Woodworking School

Day 1 was very similar to the first day of any project or any class. The first half of the day was spent selecting and milling the rough stock to size. We selected some clear African Mahogany boards from the pile and started milling stock for the legs, aprons, and drawer parts. In my opinion, Greene & Greene furniture looks best when made from Honduran Mohogany, but the stuff is pretty much impossible to obtain anymore. African Mahogany tends to be less dense and much lighter in color. But it is widely available and not too expensive, so it is the logical choice for Greene & Greene furniture. Perhaps a little dye will help with the visual shortcomings. By the way, that’s Brad (aka TreeFrog) cutting some of our parts to size.

Once the stock was ready to go, we began working on some of the leg details. The legs of the table feature this beautiful stepped “waterfall” on the inside face (where you might normally see tapers). Darrell had this great little flush trimming jig that made the job pretty easy. The jig looks incredibly easy to build too. We also cut our the mortises (all loose tenon joinery) and the square holes for the ebony plugs.

So by the end of the day, I had some sexy legs with holes in them and I feel like I learned a lot. What you’ll find in these group classes is that you tend to learn just as much from side conversations with the instructor and your fellow students, as you do from the class itself. It was great meeting Darrell and all I can say is thank goodness I have 5 more days to pick his brain! So far, I am truly enjoying my experience at the William Ng School. Oh and if you look closely at those legs, there are several square holes along the edge, the smallest of which is 1/8″!! Now that’s a tiny peg!!


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