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In this video workshop, Master craftsman Steve Latta demystifies a variety of techniques as he demonstrates how to construct a Federal Side Table chock-full of period details. With an eye towards efficient construction techniques, this project offers tips for planning and organizing milling tasks, and for cutting accurate joinery. Latta walks you through every step of the process, complete with lessons on period-appropriate details like banding, stringing, cock beading, hammer veneering, and much more.
You may know Steve Latta as a lover of history and period furniture who lectures at museums and historic sites and gives workshops around the country. But this FWW contributing editor is also doing his part to inspire the next generation of woodworkers, as a teacher of furniture making at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster, Pa. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and three children in rural Pennsylvania, where he also builds period reproduction and contemporary furniture on commission.
Produced by: Lisa Raleigh; Video by: Gary Junken; Editing by: Tom Olivares
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April 1, 2014
Steve Latta introduces you to the period elements of this Federal Side Table. From the cock beading and stringing on the drawer, to the shopmade banding on the legs and…
The key to a successful furniture project starts with selecting the right boards and precisely milling those boards into your furniture parts, quickly and accurately.
In keeping with tradition, this table relies on the bedrock construction techniques of fine furniture: mortise-and-tenon, and dovetail joinery.
Double tapered legs and decorative bandings are two of the hallmarks of federal furniture, and Latta tackles them both.
This side table may have a small footprint, but it’s crucial to get the apron banding perfectly aligned. The best was to do that is to glue up the table…
Highly figured veneers and traditional dovetailed joinery come part and parcel with period furniture. This small table’s drawer incorporates both elements for a detail that really catches the eye.
Protect your delicate veneered drawer front with traditional cock beading. Then jazz things up with beautiful stringing that places this table squarely in the Federal wheel house.
Cap off the Federal Side Table project by crafting a delicate top and applying a traditional shellac finish.
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