What’s this all about?

It started Summer 2011 with this video

Like most, I was impressed. Then I stopped to consider…
This table was made around 1750, that’s 260 years ago! There weren’t any power tools then!
Mayra and I watched it several more times. Each time, we were able to pick out more details about its construction and operation. The third or fourth time around, I started to think, “wouldn’t this make a great Fellowship project?”

I was one class away from completing the course work requirement for the Michael Fortune Fellowship at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, and it was time to start thinking about my jury project. The project needed to be challenging – more challenging than anything that I had encountered before. I also wanted it to be special, like no other project that had come before it. With this in mind, I forwarded the video link onto Marc, Michael, Paul Schürch, Donna Hill, and a few more friends. “Wouldn’t this make a great Fellowship project?”, I joked. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

The program guidelines contained no prohibition on re-creation of an historic piece. I studied the video again; stopping, rewinding, and starting repeatedly. Breaking it into its components there was a carcass covered in marquetry, mechanisms, and ormolu mounts. I had some experience with marquetry, and the casework joinery seemed straightforward, that left the metal bits. Off the top of my head, I know two metal workers, and the school had a milling machine, so at worst these aspects could be subcontracted out. Again, I recalled that this piece was made 260 years ago with nothing but hand tools. I became more confident. Maybe it was possible for me to re-create this piece! All that I had to do now, was to come up with drawings!

And we’re off…

This project took a major step forward with the commencement of the Kickstarter campaign!

So, what is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform. What does that mean? Well, rather than get a bank loan, or seek venture capital, crowd-funding pairs makers directly with backers. Individual backers pledge as much as they wish, and are free to interact directly with the maker. Backers can also choose from a variety of rewards posted by the makers. These items are usually part of the process being backed.

How Kickstarter operates.

When creating a project, makers decide on an appropriate budget, and duration. Once launched, backers are free to pledge. However, the project must at least reach the goal within the stated time period, otherwise no one is charged.

Present status?

After just about one week, I’m happy to report that things are proceeding better than I had anticipated! The Oeben Table project is 34% funded. I’ve also been contacted with an offer of material support from a well known woodworking store. But there’s always room for one more backer! If you haven’t already, please go to this page, and support the project. Even if you can’t contribute now, please help by forwarding this link to your friends and family, anyone whom you think might appreciate/be intrigued by/become enamored with it. Then check this site for updates as the project progresses.