Yankee Braces

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Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Replicating My Pa's Table 1 of 4  

I am in The Heritage Shop after my students have left and I am working on a project of love that Ozark National Scenic Riverways wants me to build. It is a replica of table built by my father in 1937.

At that time he was 20 years of age and he and my mom were courting and decided that marriage was in their future in 1938. Between the two of them they had a total of $11.00 and they calculated they could build their shack and furnish it for $5.00 which they did. That left $6.00 for any emergency.

The lumber for the shack was free since the family sawmill was less than a quarter of a mile away. He and my uncles cut the trees and sawed enough lumber to build a nice little shack. Pa couldn't afford any tin roofing so he split oak shakes to make a nice roof.

Once the shack was done he started building the furniture. The subject table sat in the center of their one-room shack in front of a stove that doubled for both heating and cooking.

He had no plane so he rode a horse 8 miles and borrowed a Bedrock 605 from a man who was named Ike Payne. All the hand planing done on the furniture was accomplished with that plane.

I took careful measurements of Pa's original table and am making the replica exactly like it out of Ozark yellow pine that was sawed locally. I hand planed and jointed the top boards at The Haunting In The Hill's Event two weeks ago. Before that I had made the legs and planed the skirt boards.

It will be painted like the original. The reason the table is forest green is that was painted with paint left over from building a johnboat. My mom later painted the table legs white.

And, we think we know poverty but actually know little about it in this century. Things have changed.

This is the original table my father built in 1937.

This is a view of the front of the table. The stain for the central
"panel" of the drawer came from walnut hull juice.

Pa outlined the area to be stained with a heavy pencil mark.
The stain will soak up to the graphite line but not bleed across it.

Pa was not an accomplished joiner at the age of 20.
The drawer front is simply nailed to the sides.

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