Episode #19: Porringer Tea Table – The Big Finish

After a couple of minor setbacks, the table is finally finished (pun intended). Hey, I never claimed to be an expert finisher. Still, I think the finish on the tea table came out respectable, and more importantly, it’s an easy finish to apply, which is important when you don’t have a lot of experience with complicated finishing techniques (which I don’t). There’s a reason that people can make entire careers out of finishing/re-finishing. It’s an art in itself. I like to keep things as simple as possible.


SketchUp Model of the Porringer Table

I got an email Friday from a reader/viewer with a fantastic attachment. Kevin Anderson thought it would be an interesting challenge to model the legs of the tea table in SketchUp so he went ahead and modeled the table. I’ve just started using SketchUp myself and thought this was a fantastic modeling. I’m not sure how Kevin managed to figure out how to model the legs, but I think he did an awesome job.


He used all of the proportions from the design notes, so the drawing is true to scale (just scaled up to make it easier to model in SketchUp). Kevin has allowed me to share the file so here it is. I think it allows one to get a really good feel for what the finished piece is going to look like. It’s also a nice way to “take it apart” to get an idea for how the whole thing goes together. It’s a really great tool.

Thanks very much Kevin for the work you put into this. I can’t imagine the time it must have taken to do. I added the woodtone shading, hope you don’t mind :).

Episode #15: Porringer Tea Table – Part 4

To the uninitiated, shaping cabriole legs can appear to be an arduous task. The thought of doing it only with hand tools can make it even more intimidating (almost every magazine article I’ve ever seen uses a band saw to do the majority of the stock removal). The trick is to not psyche yourself out before you even start. Convincing yourself that you can do it is half the battle (trust me, you can do it). The other half of the battle is taking a seemingly complicated leg shape (it’s really not that complicated) and breaking the shaping of it down into small, manageable steps. It may take you some time, but this is supposed to be fun, so take your time and enjoy it.

I’ll warn you now that this episode is rather long. There are a lot of small steps to take to get from rough, square blank to finely shaped curves. I think you’ll be surprised how fast the time goes when you are watching it though. I usually don’t like watching myself, but even I enjoyed this episode. So grab a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy. Then get out in your shop and work on your own!