I’ve heard it said that the most demanding customers are the ones who have (or think they have) a higher level of knowledge about a product. The guy who’s driven by price is easy. You can either hit the price or you can’t. But that customer with strong ideas can push back and challenge you. I like to look at it another way and view it as an opportunity to grow. I’ve dealt with many tough customers in a past life in manufacturing: Boeing, Sikorsky, Caterpillar, John Deere, Harley Davidson, none however as tough as my wife Barb Walker. She doesn’t give a rat if I have some amazing wood I’m dying to build with, and is not impressed with a new technique I’m anxious to try. She’s good and she’s usually right. She jokes about making a video titled “How to Get What You Want – Advice for living with a woodworker”.
Right now I’m in the early stages of designing a sideboard or a serving table for our dining room. At this point I only have a vague idea of where it’s going and a short list of requirements. First, the room is small. Our oval dining table is flanked on one side by a small serving (think sofa table) that’s 30” high X 14” deep X 54” long sitting where the new piece will go. Right now there is about 32” of clearance between the dining table and the smaller table. When we squeeze in family for a meal it’s tight already. Barb wants something with a little storage space. We have debated everything from a narrow table with a single row of drawers in the apron to a small chest of drawers tucked into the corner. I tend to favor a traditional sideboard form that might offer a little more storage. I’m getting way ahead of my self.
Right now I’m just trying to establish the footprint and it’s really about comfortable traffic flow. I usually don’t use graph paper but it’s handy when looking at a room layout. I made up a scale drawing of the dining room and placed sticky notes to show the relation between the dining table and the small table that currently sits there. The dotted line touching the edge of the small table represents that 32” of clearance that I don’t want to lose. To the right are possible options for sizing the new piece. Barb and I will discuss this weekend and hopefully get this resolved.
George R. Walker