Canadian Woodworking

Sculpted furniture and backyard structures

Blog by Rob Brown
“Billow Table”

I can’t remember exactly how I came across this desk, but it sure is amazing. “Billow Desk” was made by Casey Johnson from Asheville, North Carolina.

The black walnut piece is a functioning desk, but it’s obviously much more. It’s been sculpted and shaped into what would certainly be a focal point of any room. I love the door covering the storage compartment below. It would be impossible not to run your hand over those surfaces.

Another one of his pieces that I enjoyed seeing is titled “Estuary Table.” My eye went first to the “ripples” in the top, but the joinery securing the base together wasn’t far behind. It’s amazing how there are thousands (arguably millions) of ways to join a few pieces of wood together. If I had been given the task of designing the joinery on this table I would have come up with something very different, but I’m glad I got to see how Johnson solved the problem of how to join the aprons and legs on this table.

Check out Johnson’s work at There’s a lot of textured wood and other details to see on his website.

“Billow Table”

Casey Johnson, from Asheville, North Carolina, made this black walnut desk.

“Billow Table”

Billow Detail

Reminiscent of billowing fabric blowing in the wind, the finish on the solid black walnut really does a great job at bringing out the best in the wood.

Billow Detail

“Estuary Table”

If you know me, you’ll know I was obviously drawn by the ripples in the solid black walnut top. Nothing beats textured wood.

Estuary Table

One Drop, Hundreds of Waves

It would be impossible for me to keep my hands off this.

One Drop, Hundreds of Waves

Joinery Options

I like how Johnson joined the apron and legs on this table. The contrasting detail is a nice touch.

Joinery Options

Getting there

Last week I talked about why the weather was the only thing slowing me down when it came to finishing a boat rack for our fleet of watercraft. My chronic procrastination aside, the weather did improve last weekend and I managed to get outdoors with my kids to do a bit of work on the roof of the boat rack. It’s not done, but it’s getting fairly close.

By the time I got into the backyard the snow had melted and there were only small puddles around my lumber. It was still surprisingly dry, considering I should have done a better job protecting it.

The kids spent the first half hour keeping the dog entertained, which was fine by me. I still wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to build the roof and needed a bit of time to think. My general approach was a simple one, but I had also never used the Ondura corrugated roofing material I bought and wanted to be sure my plan was straight in my mind before cutting any of the surprisingly expensive spruce 2x material I had soaking in water. The main question in my mind was about the width of each of the panels and how they would overlap.

I got to work attaching some of the parts to the existing rack and worked from there. My kids helped me from time to time. All in all, things went swimmingly. It started to get dark at about 4:30 so that’s when I wrapped things up. The first corrugated panel was almost ready to go on; I just need the ladder from the shop to make that happen. I did notice the widths of the panels might not perfectly align with the 2x material I carefully spaced along the length of the boat rack. Not sure how that happened, but I have a feeling I can tweak it all to fit nicely. That’s one of the beautiful things about construction projects; tolerances aren’t often as tight compared to furniture projects. At least this project isn’t dragging as long as our basement reno project did, although I really shouldn’t say that, should I?!

Helping Hand

My daughter gave me a hand in preparing some of the parts that make up the roof.

Helping Hand
Last modified: December 1, 2022

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches

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