Sunday, June 30, 2013

Curvy Furniture At Woodworking School

It is that time of the year when I go to Marc Adams School of Woodworking, well at least it is that time of year this year because classes run from April to November and depending on the class I can be at the school any time during the year. This year it was a class given by David Orth called "Curvy Furniture Using Boat Building Techniques". It was a really interesting class given by a very knowledgeable instructor. The first day we jumped in with both feet and started building a small stand to get us acquainted to the process.

 We used 1/8" MDF to make forms using a boat building method called stitch and glue. You basically cut patterns out of MDF  and stitch them together with copper wire.

 When the form is completed to this point You paint the inside with thin marine epoxy, this will case harden it. Next you use epoxy mixed with wood flour as a thickener and make a filet of thickened epoxy on the inside corners also we added supports on the inside for added strength.

Inside supports and the case bottom.
Raka Marine Epoxy

You can see the fillet of epoxy and a hole added to the supports. The hole is added in case the table is ever shipped in an airplane cargo, this will allow the piece to pressurize so it wont get crushed  in un-pressurized  cargo storage. Because the inside is sealed  and under different pressure this has actually happened to a former student shipping a project home!

 When this dries you cut the wires and use the same thickened epoxy to seal the corners of the outside because there is a small gap where the corners meet. This is sanded smooth latter.

Dont forget to tape the corners for easy epoxy clean up!

                                  As you can see below we had a real collection of tables going
This is only half of the small stands made that week.
In the photo above you can see some of these little stands have the tops on them. These were added at the same time the inside was epoxied but before the outside corners were done. Some of the people also painted the outside with the thin epoxy but it is recommended to only do this if you plan to paint the piece. When we finished this little table we had a chance to try this on a larger scale. I chose to make a larger table from a pattern supplied by David Orth, this is the same table I had seen in the school catalog for this class and one of the reason's I chose to take this class.

As of today I have finished the first table with some mahogany and what Ive been told is quilted/pommele sapele veneer for the top. I will post the other table when it is finished. This is a very interesting way of making furniture and there is a lot of  information on the stitch and glue method of boat building out there so if your interested give it try and leave a comment if you have any questions.


  1. Your little table is beautiful! May I ask how you did the veneering?

  2. Hi Richard, I veneered this table with white PVA glue. I used the method where you coat the substrate with glue and let it dry then apply glue to one side of the veneer and after it also dries you iron the veneer on using a household fabric iron. This is just the basic concept and if you do a Google search on this you can get a more detailed explanation. I have since learned more about hide glue and i will probably use hide glue on the other unfinished table sitting in my shop but either method works fine its just a little harder to get the heat were you need it on a curvy piece of furniture like this.

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Comments, as always, are welcome!