I took your Woodworking Essentials class last summer and it was great! I thought the size and pace of the class, and the project, was just right. I
really appreciated how much time you spent with us individually. You even managed to take our "errors" and put them in the "save" category, and
usually turned them into good teaching examples of how to fix things that go wrong.
I love the table we made in the class. Mine is walnut. I'd really like to try putting string inlay around the drawer front and around the top, somewhat like a basic Federal inspired piece. Do you think the inlay would fit with the design of this table? If so, what size stringing should I use, and how far in from the edges would you place it?
Would cherry be a light enough wood for the inlay, or should I use maple to make it stand out more? I was thinking of using cherry inlay, with a matching cherry knob for the drawer. Would that work for this style, or should I use a metal knob if I'm going with a "Federal" look?
Lastly, I'm planning on using Formby's Tung Oil Finish (which is really an oil/varnish blend, I believe) on the piece. If I use cherry or maple inlay, can I finish the piece with just the Formby's Tung Oil Finish?
Thanks again for a great experience in your class, and your help with my questions here.
- Todd M.
I'm certainly glad to hear that you enjoyed the class and I'm looking forward to working with you again.
The string inlay on the table is a great way to add detail and fits perfectly with this style of table. I suggest that you use maple rather than cherry for the stringing. As the wood in the table oxidizes with age and exposure to sunlight the walnut will become lighter and the cherry will darken. After a few years you will have difficulty seeing the contrast of the stringing. Although maple also darkens somewhat with age, it will not darken as much as the cherry.
A wiping varnish such as the brand that you've mentioned is easy to apply and with two or three coats will provide good durability as well.