Constructing History

April 27th, 2023 News and Events

Washington Crossing Historic Park has seven new, reproduction tavern tables thanks to students in the Fine Woodworking program at the Bucks County Technical High School. The replica tables were delivered in late April and will be used in several of the park’s historic buildings.

Scott Ribarchik, Fine Woodworking Instructor at the school, says the Friends of Washington Crossing Park approached him with the proposed project early in the New Year.

“The tables we made were based on a replica table the park brought us,” he says. “Close to 50 students in our Fine Woodworking program worked on this project over a two-month period.”

Making the tables involved more than just sawing and sanding. First, the students drew up blueprints and specifications based on the table the park provided.

“There’s a lot that goes into the final product before we even begin working on it,” Ribarchik says. “All of the steps required to build something like these tables help build skills such as professionalism and job readiness. This is very valuable for our students.”

“And this was a real-world experience,” he adds. “They’re making something that is actually going to be used somewhere. Someday they may visit the park and go inside the buildings and see these tables that they built being used. This gets them to buy into the project and take ownership of it.”

Each table is made of solid mahogany and measures about three feet square. The legs and aprons were joined with dowel-pin joinery and mechanical fasteners were used to attach the tabletops from the underside. Students got involved in all aspects of the project – from cutting and sanding to assembly and finishing. The Friends group paid for the materials, but there was no charge for labor.

“The quality of the work is phenomenal, and we value the partnership we’ve built with the Bucks County Technical High School,” says Jennifer Martin, executive director of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park.

“These tables will outlast us all, that’s how well they’re built,” quips Ribarchik.