Next Steps in Furniture Making

Mason McBrien
August 12-23

This course is an excellent follow up for those who have taken Basic Woodworking. Each student designs and builds a hardwood side table with tapered legs and a single drawer in order to consolidate previous skills and develop new ones. During the design process, participants consider aesthetic details such as the proportion of the tapered leg and the overhang of their table top, as well as functionality, joinery, and wood selection.

Throughout the making process, Mason emphasizes precision and efficiency. He reviews hand-cut joinery, sharpening, and tuning and use of hand tools such as planes and scrapers, before introducing standard machine joinery techniques applicable to tables and drawers. These include sliding dovetails, mortise and tenons, and inserted tenons made with the tablesaw, router, Domino, and other power tools. In addition, Mason teaches breadboard tabletop construction, hand and machine methods for tapering legs, and joining and fitting traditional, hand-dovetailed, inset drawers.

Mason McBrien has combined the roles of instructor and facilities manager at the Center since 2011, while still finding time to accept commissions for furniture and wood turning. After years of self-employment building custom furniture, museum installations, and historic garden architecture in New Hampshire, Mason enrolled in the Center’s 2007-2008 Nine-month Comprehensive and subsequently was awarded a Studio Fellowship. His work has been published in Fine Woodworking and in Lark Books’ 500 Tables (2009) and 500 Cabinets (2010).

Open to intermediate woodworkers, including anyone who has taken Basic Woodworking.


Tuition: $1,440


 McBrien1Shimmer by Mason McBrien, curly maple and black walnut, (35"x18"x37"), 2008