Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 181, September 2020Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodworking!
By Simon Brace
Potchefstroom, South Africa


I have been a Highland Woodworking fan for many years. I discovered the store while I was studying and working in the US in Charlotte. I was based in the States for 10 years. One day I was awoken from my dogmatic slumbers on the couch by Rob Cosman's 3 minute dovetail video. My wife thought I was going through some kind of mid-life crisis when I asked for a Dovetail set for Christmas. I did not have the money nor the interest in a muscle car, and I like to make things with wood so a Dovetail set it was! I was so impressed with Cosmans' efforts that I thought I should have a try at cutting dovetails myself and the rest is history. I got hooked on hand tools and have a number of beloved Lie Nielsen's in my shop amongst a few other tools from Highland Woodworking.

My wife and I returned to Africa about 4 years ago. One of the major problems with South Africa is that there is no Highland Woodworking here.

Below is a series of photos of a dining room table project I was required to build. My first table construction was a 6 seater I built in the US out of Oak. It was an early project and a little rough. My family has since expanded and so I decided to make a dining table for my large family that can host us and another family when they visit, and maybe a few more for good measure.

My local church was looking to strip out the stage in the church hall. I offered to do the job for free and salvage the wood which turned out to be Doug Fir and Oak! The table is 3, 3x1, 2m. Sorry for the metric dimensions, I have never been able to work with the imperial. It is a stout trestle table with the blade having the wood on edge. I took the tongue and groove boards of the stage, cut the tongue and groove off and milled and put them together on edge. For the trestles I used rather stout double mortise and tenons in a through wedged tenon joint. I added some African Leadwood to the trestle for some color. This wood is ridiculously dense and heavy.

Old stage stripping out at the church hall

Concept stage

Joinery for the trestles

Trestles with center rail

Finishing with Linseed Oil


In the Lounge

Below are a few more projects I've done.








Simon can be reached by email at sbrace@ses.edu. You can also visit his Facebook page at Vukuzenzele Woodworking.

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