Federal Table Final Session – Pictures

We finished the finish and finished the tables.  I think it is safe to say it was a success!!

Congratulations to all the students!!  They were all excellent tables and something you can be proud of.

Here are the photos

The final assembly

Dick was our oldest member but I think he may have had more fun than all the rest combined.

Gary did some remarkable work, and made some very handsome tools along the way.  Including saws he presented to the instructors.

Roger was the novice.  And considering he had done practically no prior woodworking his work is incredible.  Without a doubt he had the steepest learning curve.  He was the most studios of the group, always taking notes and asking questions, all very good by the way.

Dave did some great work.  And considering for a while he did not have the proper glasses it is really amazing.  Dave is so blind, when the eye doc does his exam and says, “what is the smallest letter can you see”, he says he cannot even see the light or the wall!!

Louis did a great job balancing his travel with the project.  He was able to keep up and learn some new hand tool skills and make this beautiful table.

Steve is an excellent instructor and student.  His hand tool skills are second to none of us.  He did not have any prior experience in veneering and inlay but took to the skills like a duck to water.

Ken Kline was our other instructor-student.  Ken has taken to inlay work over the past year but wanted to experiment with pushing the envelope of his table.  Ken is also our resident prefectionist.  He must have re-done parts of this table at least 6 times.  Any one of the attempts would have done most people proud, but Ken was determined to make it perfect.  I think he came as close as my eyes could tell to perfect.

And the gang is all here.  Students and instructors.


Federal Table Project – week 8 – Drawers Continued

This was devoted to the drawer.  The parts had to be sized to fit the opening the table.  Make sure all parts are square.  Steve is talking about the fit prior to cutting the dovetails.


Steve then walked us through the entire process:  layout spacing for the tails, cutting the tails and cleaning out the joint.  Then transferring to pin boards.

But first we need to layout the tails

Then cut the tails 









Chopping out the waste in the tails under watchful eyes..








And every now and then, we realize this is all about having fun.  I think Dick’s expression says it all..

Federal Table Product – Week 7 – Glue up of Table and Dovetail practice

Gluing up the tables.  First we do dry fits and check for the table squareness.  When care and detail is managed at the levels of cutting the mortise and tenon, the dry fit shows the positive results.


Checking square by measuring the diagonal.



Hide glue was used.  Hide glue provides a strong bond, easy to work with, reversible and repairable.

And when it all comes together we get great results.















Next we began practicing the necessary skills to cut dovetails.  Sawing a perpendicular line for the pins was practiced.  Practice, practice, practice.  Perfect practice works. 


Good body position, good mechanics













Federal Table Project – Week 6 Leg Ornamentation

This week was focused on completing the leg stringing and working through the medallion inlay at the top of the leg.

Using mostly the channeling tools made by the instructors, the students cut the channels in the legs for the stringing.








After cutting the channels the stringing was fitted and the miters were cut.  Dry fitting was then performed.  Then we got into the the oval inlay and how to lay our, cut and install

Afterward it was glued in














Federal Table Week 5 – Leg Ornamentation

This week Ken Kline went over the process of cutting stringing and scratching a channel in the leg for the stringing.

First we discussed grain direction, use of cutting tools and process of cutting.

Steve is cutting a piece of holly using a straight edge and a slicing gauge in the Steve Latta design and made by Lie-Nielsen.




Then Ken Kine showed how to thickness the stringing the a uniform dimension





Roger tries his hand at sizing the stringing







Sample of stringing inserted in a channel on a sample leg





Pairing the surface of the exposed stringing







Scraping the surface






A finished string









Federal Table Week 3-4 – Hammer Veneering

The third class was to learn about hammer veneering and veneer the face of the sides of the table.

Ken Johnson demonstrated then the group went about the task of veneering with hot animal glue (hide glue).

Time was spent showing how to use chisels to cut veneer when trimming to size:







Demonstration of hammering (which is better described as squeegee)





Then we got down to business:


Federal Table Week 2 – cutting tenons

Our second get together was to cut tenons on the sides and back.  We also reviewed the mortises that were chopped the week before.

Steve demonstrated the way to layout and saw a tenon.  Afterwards, students practiced in class.






Steve showing how to mark locations









Steve even provided a script to follow to get the work done:







Part II







Paring the shoulders of the tenon.


Ronnie Young visit Nov 12

On Nov 12, 11 members of the Georgia Peach State SAPFM chapter ventured north to the Chattanooga area to visit one of our SAPFM members that lives just over the Georgia line.

Ronnie Young is a life long builder of period furniture and he invited us to visit his shop and see some of his works.

We had a great visit with demonstrations of various jigs and custom made tools and attachments. Ronnie has a great shop located in his full basement.

We had a chance to see some of his works. By his own acknowledgement, his best works were not there. Through a deal made many years ago, Ronnie received a large inventory of hardwoods. In return, he agreed to make furniture using some of that wood. You can see a photo collection of his best works via the link below.

After looking at Ronnie’s collection of furniture at his home, we ventured to a local BBQ for good food and fellowship.

Below are some pictures of Ronnie’s work

Federal Table Project for Members

Peach State Chapter of SAPFM Presents A

Special Learning Opportunity

“Build a Federal Style Table”

At the fall event this idea was presented as a way to bring more members up to speed on period furniture construction.  Using a project as the basis, we intend to guide the students through all the steps in constructing a Federal style, tapered leg table with a drawer and veneered top.

The objectives are to allow experienced members to     share info so others can develop the necessary skills to build period furniture reproductions.  This is a workshop and each participant will complete their own table.

At the end of the workshop, each member should have the basic skills to work on a Federal or Sheraton style piece of furniture.  We did not learn this in 10 weeks, and we sure cannot teach you all that we know in that time either.

But you should have the experience and confidence to take on more challenging projects after completing this table.

The table project gives us an opportunity to explore all the basic skills needed:

  • Surface preparation
  • Jointery – mortise and tenon and dovetailing
  • Use of hide glue for joint work and hammer veneering
  • Veneering flat surfaces with hammers and vacuum
  • And applying a basic hand applied finish


  • First meeting will cover the overall project, construction steps, and review of the initial steps to get started.
  • Weekly we will meet to cover skills and task assignments
  • Meeting activity will include:
    • discussion of task
    • demonstrate of task/skills
      • samples and demonstration will be provided
      • allow for students to practice
        • students will practice in class
        • ask questions
      • typically 2 hours
      • Assignment for the meeting given will be given
        • materials
        • other pre-meeting work
      • At beginning of each meeting
        • Critique work
        • Answer any questions
        • Discuss uncovered skills or steps
        • 30 min
    • Between meetings
      • students expected to go home and practice, practice, practice.  If you are not able to do the task with satisfactory results at least 3 consecutive times, practice more.
      • complete task on project once skill sufficiently mastered
      • working with other students is encouraged

Length of class

10 lessons-estimate

12 wks depending on students


most sessions 1 wk apart

some 2 wks

We have 5 students and 5 instructors.  What an arrangement.  The instructors are Ken Kline, Ken Johnson, Marion Smith, Jay Stallman,  and Steve Quehl

We are privileged to have a local Woodcraft owner who supports us with anything we ask.  Steve Quehl owns and operates the local Roswell, GA Woodcraft.  An experienced hand tool craftsman, Steve is one of our instructors.  He also has made his spacious teaching room at the store available to us and been very generous with store resources and access to supplies.  Without the support of Steve this project would not have been as easy to do.  We are truly blessed with Steve and appreciate his continued support and involvement.

Our first class was held October 30

Below are more photos of the first event