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The Most Incredible Table You'll Ever See

comments (16) August 1st, 2014 in blogs

Ed_Pirnik Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer
thumbs up 333 users recommend

Judging by his products, woodworker David Fletcher is just as much an engineer as he is a furniture maker. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Judging by his products, woodworker David Fletcher is just as much an engineer as he is a furniture maker.

Photo: Fletcher Tables

Yup, my headline makes one heck of a bold claim. That said, from an engineering standpoint (at least), this capstan table crafted by David Fletcher is an utter marvel of engineering.


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In this short video outlining the table's general construction and history, Fletcher claims that when asked to produce the table he replied that it was "far too difficult." In the end however, he was convinced to attempt the build, and judging by the final product, he most likely exceeded his wildest expectations.Want one of your own? No problem. For a cool $50K-$70K, you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at this fine specimen of a table.


So the next time you find yourself frustrated while trying to cut a complex compound-angled dovetail joint-think of Mr. Fletcher and put your "big boy pants" on.



Special thanks to Adam Savage's Tested website, where I stumbled upon this little gem.

posted in: blogs, capstan

Comments (16)

user-6110093 user-6110093 writes: Download over 16,000 WOODWORKING PLANS at here Woodworking guide offers anyone of any skill level the ability to build amazing projects. The guide is extra helpful because it offers more detailed explanations, videos and blueprints then your typical woodworker magazine .
Hope it will help you next time !
Posted: 3:22 am on June 7th

notimeforlunch notimeforlunch writes: Woodworking------Not Woodworking----Call it what you like based on how you choose to build it. The original tables built in the 19th. Century were obviously made by hand using very demanding woodworking skills.

In any case, this Capstan Table is a marvelous piece of engineering and, dare I say, a piece of functional art. If I had one, I doubt I would actually use it for every day use without a waterproof cover. Can you imagine the mess a spill could make of the internal mechanism.

I would like to know the cost to not only purchase one and to have it professionally set up. I might follow up on that.
Posted: 6:42 am on February 17th

jamierodg jamierodg writes: Isn't it great that despite the amazing technology, he still reaches for koa and other wood for the beauty? For everyone who says this is not woodworking, I have to throw the B.S. flag. Next time you are standing at your router table I could tell you the same thing. Just like a CNC, you are milling wood and controlling your x, y, and z axis. Scandinavians scoff when we reach for a handsaw and wonder why we are using a tool of the unskilled when an axe would work WITH the wood rather than plow straight through it. I love woodworking with planes, chisels and handsaws to be sure, but this table is what it is and in the open, closed, or in motion positions it is a lovely and very much wooden object of art. Congratulations to this gentlemen for pursuing his passion. As the French say, "Chacun a son true." Everyone has his thing (that others don't understand.)
Posted: 11:50 am on January 24th

Aussie_Kev Aussie_Kev writes: I believe the piece of furniture is a marvel of engineering not necessarily a woodworking marvel. The accuracy of the engineered components is amazing and all credit should go to the collective group of people that engineered and developed the piece of furniture being displayed. Whilst it is definitely the hero piece of a dining room in any home, a person’s attention will be drawn to the engineering of the unit and its unique design rather than its book matched veneers that are used to window dress a mechanically operated mechanism. The table and its overall function can be likened to a Terminator movie where they put synthetic flesh on a cyborg robot to pass it off as being human!
Posted: 8:48 pm on April 7th

kchambes kchambes writes: Imagine what anyone of us could achieve with 15 years and deep pockets?
Still impressive though.
Posted: 2:32 pm on February 1st

brownman brownman writes: Wow, what a fantastic and wonderfully engineered table! Something I'd purchase if "I were a wealthy man ! "
Posted: 10:28 am on February 1st

TheaM TheaM writes: Would I try this ever? No way! Life's too short. Even if I were much better than I am now, it seems like the kind of thing that would drive me insane.
Posted: 4:13 pm on August 5th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: The question I have for all of you is: would any of you ever attempt something this crazy? For my part, there is no way in hell I would have had the confidence to attempt it for a client, like this fellow did. Yet he completed it! I have an enormous amount of respect for anyone with that much self-confidence. It awes me! I guess I missed that gene! I still don't think any of my woodworking is "good enough." And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe that's what keeps a woodworker making better and better pieces - always striving for perfection and new challenges.

Posted: 8:30 am on August 4th

EdWeber EdWeber writes: I like it but...

Although it's a clever piece of engineering, I would classify this as a kinetic sculpture not a woodworking project. Even the small amount of woodworking that could have been done by humans was done with a CNC router. It is what it is, but it's not woodworking. I would have liked to have seen the piece, or diagram of the original this was based on.
Posted: 6:22 pm on August 3rd

paulpierre paulpierre writes: Whoa. What an incredible Piece. The work of a genius.
Posted: 2:33 pm on August 3rd

Cadabra Cadabra writes: For everything there is an extreme version. Here is one that defies it's heritage as a piece of woodwork. An amazing metal mechanism with wooden touches; this is nearly not furniture. The sophisticated 3D Numeric Controlled equipment and the elaborate CAD dependencies put this project in a class of its own. Nonetheless, all the more, even's really cool!
Posted: 8:47 pm on August 2nd

Woodworker_Mike Woodworker_Mike writes: Too sterile for me. Great engineering. Definitely doesn't qualify as woodworking though.
Posted: 5:59 pm on August 2nd

wookieg wookieg writes: Looks like the Century Furniture radial dining table, and even more like Century's discontinued Oscar de la Renta table. Both expand outward radially to accept additional leaves resulting in a larger table. Maybe this is a "knock-off" or parallel evolution....But those will only set you back $25K....
Posted: 5:48 pm on August 2nd

professorss professorss writes: Design,& fabrication are beautiful, but they rely on 21st century high tech and process automation. Traditional woodworking tools and skills are not present. So this is exquisite but sterile.. As for the wood, they may as well have used plastic laminate. There is not one element that speaks of the human touch.

Non sequitur. Why are the recommended articles shown just below this taken from Fine Homebuilding ad not a Fine Woodworking perspective?
Posted: 2:14 pm on August 2nd

Madkrafter Madkrafter writes: Makes my head spin... but it doesn't come back together as neatly as this table! By "big boy pants", you mean "big boy pockets" for a big boy CNC?
Posted: 2:10 pm on August 2nd

12inch 12inch writes: I guess I'll go and burn all my tools now...
Posted: 11:15 am on August 2nd

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