Blackheart Sassafras & ebonised Vic Ash Hall Table

Kylie (Mon PM TG) – 

I’ve wanted to use Blackheart Sassafras for a very long time now. It’s beautiful and striking and I was super excited to get this particular piece (thanks Rob – Australian Premier Veneers). The design of the table is very simple as I wanted it to be all about the timber, with the idea that the sassafras is suspended in a plain frame.

The top is exactly as I found it, minus a few shavings. The frame is made from Vic Ash which has been ebonised and stained: teabags, coffee, vinegar, steel wool, filler, walnut stain, brown and black japan – it felt like I was coming to woodwork to do chemistry. It was fun and interesting, and I feel the end result has the depth and colour I was seeking.

The sassafras is finished with polyurethane and the frame with danish oil, all of which was done prior to final glue up.

The table took about 5 terms to complete, but was promised to my sister about 5 years ago, when I asked her to set aside a bit of real estate in her new house. I’ll be making a road trip to SA soon to deliver – I’ve given her the dimensions but revealed nothing else, so hope she likes it.



Blackwood Writing Desk

Campbell (Fri AM TG) – 

The desk is designed for a small space and is just deep enough for a laptop or writing pad.  It is all blackwood timber demonstrating the variation in colours and textures from the warm desktop to the contrasting dark legs.  The top is constructed as a rectangular box with legs attached through angled bridle joints.  There are narrow open shelves at each end. The drawer handle was made from timber matching the legs.  Finish is Danish oil.


American Maple Coffee Table

Soo Ming (Mon PM TG) –

The story behind the design is that we were simply unable to find a nice enough table that suited the space that we had for it. Living in an apartment only a small space is available and most coffee tables for sale were either too big, too small, or just not great.

Really the unusual shape was probably borne out of random doodling and requirements of our living room – so one would be less likely to kick the corner of the table when going past it walking to the kitchen behind… I have been constantly reminded that the table is not square, my response to that has always been – really? I did not realise…

I spent almost a whole term on the design going back and forth between Gray and the missus before deciding on one that met all the stakeholder’s requirements and would still be a worthy first project.

Bringing the table back finally after 3 years – first thing that was said to me was… it doesn’t match the other furniture in the room does it…?


Vic Ash Coffee Table (in progress)

Adrian (Fri AM TG) – 

In-progress photos of my coffee table.

The base is almost complete and I’ve only just started the top. All Vic ash with Japan black proof tint as a stain.

I wanted the design to incorporate a contrast between the upper and lower halves of the base, hence the use of a dark stain and the change in thickness of the table legs.

The bottom rack has 20 slats, that’s 40 mortise and tenon joins. This has provided ample opportunity to practice this common form of traditional joinery.


Tasmanian Blackwood Bedside Tables

Grant (Mon PM TG) – 

My first project with the School is a pair of bedside tables made entirely out of Tasmanian Blackwood.  Coming in with no idea of what exactly I wanted to make other than that I wanted to build fine furniture I eventually thought a pair of bedside tables would be an ideal first project.  The curves presented some challenges but with (a lot of) Gray’s assistance it has all come together quite nicely.

My only woodworking experience to date has been in secondary school so I am very proud of these pieces.  Learning not only the joinery required to build such pieces but also such things as the design process, allowing for wood movement and simply making things pleasing to the eye are skills I hope to expand on and take further.  I look forward to my second piece and (hopefully) many more after that.


Grant's Tasmanian Blackwood Bedside Tables

Vic Ash Dining Table

Michelle (Thu AM TG) – 

Michelle had an existing dining table that she wanted to make an extension to for large family gatherings.  She needed the leg to be removed from the top relatively easy for storage. As it turns out it can also be a stand-alone table as the base is quite stable.

Michelle is very happy with how it turned out – the finish is slightly more glossy than the one it was going to match but her family all agree it looks better and it certainly did the job for their Christmas lunch. She’s even found a spot in the house where she can leave the table up, and not dismantle it for occasional use, as was the intention.

Here is the table along with the original.