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
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
This is a view of the front of the table. The
stain for the central
of the drawer came from walnut hull juice.
Pa outlined the area
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
The drawer front is simply nailed to the sides.