The Hayrake Table



The Hayrake Table has it's origins in the English Arts and Craft Movement in the early part of the twentieth century. It's distinctive feature is the lower stretcher forms a double-ended Y-shape, braced by a T-shaped joint in the middle. "The shape of each end, and their joinery, was based on traditional English Craft Woodworking and the construction of hay rakes."

Nancy Hiller designs and builds furniture with a strong period sensibility.  Join her in this six-day class to build a Hayrake Table for your home. 


Class Description

This class is intended for intermediate and advanced-level woodworkers. While you need not be familiar with all the techniques the class will cover, you should have a basic familiarity with mortise and tenon joinery and be able to cut a tenon by hand using a backsaw.
The course will cover the following, in addition to other skills and techniques:

  • Using a rod (also known as a story stick) to determine dimensions of parts and angles for joinery
  • Notched stretcher-to-leg joinery incorporating a hidden mortise and tenon
  • Chamfering with a spokeshave and drawknife
  • Mortise and tenon joinery, including exposed tenons
  • Drawboring
  • Scribing tenon shoulders
  • Inlaid butterfly keys
  • Routing a thumbnail bead
  • Shaping legs to make lambs’ tongues
  • Optional: decorative gouging
  • Attaching a solid wood table top with traditional wooden buttons

Students will have the opportunity to use whichever wood species they prefer, though the thicknesses of various parts will be uniform when we dimension parts to final size. Those who will be flying instead of driving will be able to purchase lumber prior to the class from local supplier, Edensaw Woods. Because this class is intended for non- beginners, I hope students will choose their own overall dimensions – for example, you may want a table to seat ten guests or one sized to fit in an eat-in kitchen. Different proportions mean different geometry for the hayrake stretcher system; this in turn means we’ll have opportunities to really understand how the joinery of the hayrake stretcher is affected by such changes. Another point of variation will be the decorative details (gouging on the legs is optional; the beaded edge for the table top and apron is optional; the butterfly keys are optional). 

The idea is that students will be able to get most of the table done in a week. However, I found the most time-consuming part to be the carving and gouging. It is easy to do and quite relaxing, but it does take time. Some people may wish to leave out the gouging, use a different pattern, or perhaps just carve a couple of chamfers on each leg instead of all four. Please note that it’s far easier to do the decorative gouging before you glue up the base, so if you want to get your table fully assembled by the end of the class, you may need to work during the evenings or reduce the amount of decorative gouging. Alternatively, you may make the parts in the class, then finish up the carving and glue the base together at home. This table can be made from start to almost finish in pieces; the main thing that can’t be done until after glue-up is completing the chamfers on the stretcher parts.



Students should have some experience with hand tools and joinery. We recommend skills equivalent to the Hand Tool Heaven week-long classes: Joinery courses or the Weekend Hand Tool Woodworking series.

Class Information and Registration

Class runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday.
This class takes place in Building #315 at Fort Worden on July 8-13, 2019. Map
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $950
Materials Charge: $175 (subject to change, possibly higher)
Register by: June 8, 2019

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.