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Before I begin a new project I usually do an exhaustive amount of research. This usually includes going through furniture books, scouring the internet looking at photos, taking measurements, and drawing many rough sketches. This process becomes even longer when I am undecided on what exactly I would like to make. During those times I am comparing sketches, wood costs, material needed, and time frames. My methods tend to be very scholarly and cerebral. So the other night I was watching a movie on TV, I think it was Porky’s, and I happened to notice a plant stand that I really liked. Just after the shower scene it occurred to me that a plant stand would look pretty nice in a conspicuously empty corner of the living room of our house. I did a quick inventory of a small stash of Walnut I have and found more than enough to make the stand as well as another smaller project I had in mind.
Originally, my wife had wanted me to make a leaning shelf for that corner, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea. A shelf in that location would have looked out of place in my opinion; the corner is too small for a larger shelf that would actually be able to hold anything of substance, and too large for a regular sized table. A plant stand seems to fall into the Goldilocks zone: tall enough to fill in the corner, yet small enough to fit without over-crowding the space. Best of all, my wife was surprisingly enthusiastic about the idea, though I had to tell her that there would be no drawer installed no matter what.
I don’t have any project plans to reference for the stand, just a few ideas in my head and a few photos I’ve found thus far. I have come across a few Arts and Crafts style stands both in books and on the net, but I’m trying to stay away from A&C in this case. I caught an episode of The Woodwright’s Shop a week or so ago and wacky woodworker Roy Underhill was demonstrating running full beads for case sides and legs. I thought that a fully beaded leg with a slight taper would look nice in conjunction with a beaded apron, so I did a few experiments with full beading on some scrap wood I have(I will post photos later-camera died) Of course a bottom shelf is going to be a requirement, if for no other reason than to help give the stand a more stout appearance, as some of the examples I’ve seen tended to look a little flimsy. The joinery should be easy enough: sixteen mortise and tenons, and some dados for clips to hold the shelf and table tops to the aprons.
First thing I need to do is mill up the Walnut when I get the time, the weather still isn’t cooperating, and then sketch up a few design ideas along with dimensions for the stand. I’m going to have to glue up the Walnut in order to get the thickness I need for the legs unless I come across some thicker stock in my travels. I will also likely have to glue up a piece to get the width needed for the table top and shelf, as I don’t think I will be able to get enough width out of the pieces I do have. So this should be a fun project. It will include some hand tool and some power tool work, a little joinery here and there, and a chance to experiment with decorative elements on an original design. Man, I nearly sound like a real woodworker!