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Artistic as well as strong. The leg-to-beam mortise-and-tenon joint handles front-to-back stress while the non-shouldered tenons, which are locked into the beam, help to keep the table from racking.

All these years, my assistant, Laure Olender, has not only been working with me doing woodwork, she also takes photographs (including those in this article), edits my articles and assists me at lectures and demonstrations. I thought she was ready to do her own large project from beginning to end. I brought up several traditional Japanese woodworking projects, but every one of them had some small, complicated, technical detail that did not fit well for her first large project.

I came up with the dining table idea and thought this to be the perfect project for her, so we made a plan. I explained all the necessary concepts to her before she started on the project, as I have many wishes, thoughts, traditions and ideologies about this dining table.

Origins Born on a Farm

In a small village in Japan, my woodworking Master and I first made this table for the Magobei household.


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