This Week in the Shop: Tangled Up (Dining Set) in Blue

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to photograph my completed big fall project from 2011.  I put together the table base over a few weeks in August and built the top over a couple weeks in September.  I don’t remember much, other than my wife traveled overseas during that time.  I remember my stomach tightening when she said “well, the country is in a state of emergency, so I might need a bodyguard” and the guys  at the lumberyard telling me “a great story” about said country which involved his friend being smuggled out of a military dictatorship.

I built the top in a fury and spent the rest of the day re-learning or learning prayers for safety in a number of religions.  Then I listened to a lot of soft rock power love ballads.  Just to cover all bases.

My wife came home safe to a new table.

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Of course, if you build a table, you have to have chairs.  I’ve always wanted to build an “exact” copy of a project from Make: Magazine.  I built four in November, and they looked like this.  I added a support brace across the back and front, which mitigated the thinness of the plywood.  As is, the chairs have some flexing but have held up quite nicely for six months.

If you build a puzzle chair, make sure your sides stay parallel to the ground or lean towards each other slightly.  One of mine tilts the wrong way and my “total-testing apparatus” (my three-year old) has flipped that chair a few times.  I figured out which one caused the trouble and made it “Daddy’s Chair”.


Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend.

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