(banner rumored to have hung over the entrance to Plato's Academy)

Ken's Woodworking Page

"Damn the time! That's not the point."
James Krenov.

Once in a while I find myself with a bit of extra time. On such occasions I enjoy building things out of wood.
Here are a few pictures of some of the projects that I've built recently.

Traditional hand-cut dovetails are not only a beautiful way to join two boards, the skill required to cut them really isn't that difficult to learn. Once you get over the initial hump of learning how to saw to a line (a skill that all woodworkers should probably acquire anyway) then cutting dovetails by hand becomes one of the simple pleasures of woodworking. It's especially gratifying since you can see the results of your work (unlike, say, mortise-and-tenon joints). Here's a brief story about my own experience with learning how to cut dovetails by hand.

Seeking the way of the saw

Cabin Stuff:

Dining table.

Feasting Table

Krenov Chess Table.

Chess Table

Stair Railing.

Stair Railing


For my oldest daughter's twenty-first birthday I built her a blanket chest. You can see a couple of pictures of it along with some brief construction notes.

Blanket chest

I'm in the process of building a clock with the movment constructed entirely out of wood. It was designed by Wayne Westphale and described in Fine Woodworking (reprinted in their "Small Woodworking Projects" book. I'm almost finished but the escape wheel has to be remade so that it goes "tick-tock" rather than "tick-ck-ck-ck tick-ck-ck-ck". More notes will appear on the page once I get time to key them in.

Wooden Clock

My old skiing friend Tommy Podivinsky got married last winter. I couldn't afford an expensive wedding gift so I made this hand-dovetailed footstool for him.

Foot Stool

A cradle for my daughter's new baby.


Hepplewhite dining chair.

Hepplewhite chair

A lounge chair for my back deck.

Titanic Deck Chair

A barrister's bookcase.

Barrister's bookcase

My dad brought some ceramic tiles back from Portugal and asked me to stick them on some plywood so that he could hang them on the wall. I couldn't bring myself to do such a thing so I built an open frame out of walnut. You can see a picture of it here, although the lighting is kind of poor so you can't really see the effect that I was going for which was to have the tiles sort of float flush with the front of the frame. It was inspired by Krevov's chess board (and I hope that when I say that, nobody thinks I am comparing my work to Krenov's or any vainglorious notion like that. I was just inspired to try to design something with a similar effect). The curved pieces were attached with dowels and all the through tenons were left long and chamferred on the through portions. (My dad was happy--he gave me a gift certificate from Lee Valley Tools the following Christmas )

Ceramic tile frame

A stable tripod for mounting a small telescope. Built out of white oak and finished with exterior tung oil. The head is a Manfrotto #029. Although the scope is a low power wide field refractor, it is rather heavy and requires a solid mount. This tripod holds it rock steady, even in a strong wind. It took the better part of a day to build but the effort was well rewarded.

White Oak Tripod

A couple of carving projects.

A built-in library.

Philadelphia Footstool.

Philadelphia footstool

Some small projects and some cheap hacks.

Some small projects turned on the lathe.

New additions (Dec 09):

A snooker scoreboard.

Windsor chair made from broken hockey sticks.

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Page last updated on Oct 23, 2008.