Tyler’s Arts and Crafts Ottoman

Viewer Project - By Tyler Williams from Georgetown, KY
Added on April 1, 2014

I’ve done rough carpentry work my whole life (all 24 years of it) and I just started getting into fine woodworking about 10 months ago. Pretty much everything I’ve learned has been from online resources (The Wood Whisperer, Matt’s Basement Workshop, The Renaissance Woodworker, etc.) I really love arts and crafts style furniture, so I wanted to try something along the lines of a Morris chair. Given the intricacies of the Morris chair, I wanted to build, I decided for a first project I would start with an ottoman to accompany my future chair. I found some plans online and modified them slightly to suit my tastes.

When I say that I’ve learned pretty much everything from online resources, here’s what I mean:

1) Picking out the lumber for the project: TWW Episode 4: A Lumbering Feeling
2) Cutting the mortises and Tenons: TWW Episode 10: Tenons Anyone?
3) Matching the Grain: TWW Episode 69: Gadget Station (Pt. 12), among other episodes. This is especially apparent in the picture where you can see that the top and bottom stretchers are cut from the same piece of material with the dark streak continuing on both pieces.
4) Using thinned amber shellac to pop the grain to show off the curly cherry figure on the ends: TWW Episode 32: Pop Goes The Maple
5) Drawboring all of the critical mortise and tenon joints: TWW Episode 168: Drawbored Mortise & Tenon, and
6) Finished with Arm-R-Seal: TWW, basically every other episode!

Not to mention all of the little techniques I had to use for making it (i.e. I used a cross cut sled on my table saw to cut most of the pieces:TWW Episode 146 and I needed sharp chisels for a lot of the paring operations: TWW Episodes 21 and 181.

Thanks to all of this free online info, I’ve ended up with an heirloom quality piece of furniture that I’m really proud of. In short, this is more of a “Look what online woodworking can create” than it is a “look what Tyler can create.” I can honestly say that without all of the online resources, I never would have branched out from rough carpentry. So thanks to all of the online woodworkers out there, keep up the great work!