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Woodworking Course on Designing and Building a Japanese Style Table

A few months ago, I worked with Marc Spagnuolo from the Wood Whisperer to record a course on designing and building this Japanese-inspired end Table for the guild. The WoodWhisperer Guild is an online Woodworking School that teaches you how to build Fine Furniture.

Below is a promo video.  In the actual course, you will have access to in-depth, step-by-step video instructions, as well as a set of plans with a materials list and cut list.

Take this Woodworking and Design Course 

This End Table design was heavily influenced by my interest in Japanese culture and architecture. In the design, I brought in several architectural elements to give it the look and feel of a Japanese aesthetic. The overall design plays with subtle angles and curves to create an elegant table. The construction of the table focuses on traditional joinery techniques.

In this course, you will have access to the following:

  • Detailed cut list and plans, including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Video instruction showing every step of the build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase.
  • I will be in the comment section to answer any questions you have along the way.

This course will teach you:

  • How to use inspiration to design furniture
  • Curved half-lap joinery (hand tool method)
  • Mortise and tenon joinery (table saw and router method)
  • Cutting angles and curves
  • An alternative design method for designing with curves
  • HVLP Spray Finishing

There is a complete materials and tool list over at the Wood Whisperer Guild if you are interested in taking this course.

This Course Is hosted through the Woodwhisperer Guild, so head over there for more details.

Woodworking Course on Designing and Building a Japanese Style Table

If you are interested in some of the other courses I teach, like if you want to learn SketchUp, Please check out my Woodworking and Design courses page.

For more on this custom end table design

Woodworking courses taught by master craftsman Brain Benham

How To Design and Build a Japanese End Table

The process begins with the careful selection of lumber, not merely based on board feet but guided by the desired grain pattern. A meticulous eye for detail ensures a seamless blend of grains, making the seams nearly invisible. The video takes you through the steps of cutting panels, cleaning up rough edges, and achieving the perfect width for the table.

The legs, destined for a taper, undergo jointing and ripping to create clean surfaces for laying out precise joinery. Watching the meticulous work on the tenons and mortises showcases the artistry behind crafting furniture. The video provides valuable insights into the fitting process, demonstrating how to achieve a smooth, snug fit and clean edges using a chisel.

As the project progresses, attention turns to creating a beautiful arch for the table’s aprons. The use of a catenary curve, guided by gravity, results in a graceful and visually pleasing curve. The intricate details of creating templates and shaping the arch using a band saw and router table reveal the craftsmanship required for such a project.

Further details include tapering the legs and using dominoes to attach the top securely. The meticulous care given to the finishing touches, including sanding and final assembly, reflects the commitment to excellence in woodworking. The choice of a spray finish like conversion varnish adds a professional touch, ensuring a flawless result.

The final product, a Japanese-inspired end table, showcases the fusion of skill, precision, and creativity. Ben Ham’s expertise shines through, and the video serves as an invitation to join the woodworking community at the Wood Whisperer Guild, where craftsmanship is celebrated and skills are refined.

To explore more of my work, visit my website at Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a novice eager to learn, the journey into crafting this Japanese-inspired end table promises to be both educational and rewarding.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.