Issue 15 T.O.C. – Joshua A. Klein – “Making the Versatile Hutch Table”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Fifteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is to come. 

The subscription window that includes Issue Fifteen is open now.

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Joshua A. Klein – “Making the Versatile Hutch Table”

When space is at a premium, versatility is a valuable trait for furniture. And this fact has been recognized for centuries. While we have pull-out sleeper sofas and extendable dining tables today, one innovation from the past combined storage space, a table, and a bench into a single piece: the hutch table. It could be utilized for food preparation, for sharing a meal, or the top could be tilted up to vertical and the table became a bench. 

For Issue Fifteen, author Joshua Klein set out to design and build a hutch table for the kitchen of the 1821 Cape house he is restoring. In creating this piece, he scoured museum catalogs and auction sites to determine the proportions and form of the table, and discusses the concept of designing around the dimensions of special pieces of wood you might have set aside for “just the right project.” In this instance, the piece was a clear white pine board for the tabletop 29" wide and 5' long, milled at least a century ago. 

Klein goes through the project in a no-nonsense manner, outlining efficient workflow and using coarse tools to remove as much wood as possible, right up to taking final passes with a smoothing plane. With a good mix of ripping and thickness planing, an interesting variety of joinery, and lots of design flexibility, the hutch table is a great project for any hand-tool woodworker to take on.

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