Furnishing the Tiny House — Ethan

Hello everyone! My name is Ethan McLear.

I’ve chosen to remain local for my senior project — I’m working in the school’s woodshop to fill a space that was created by seniors of 3 years ago: our on-campus Tiny House. The layout for its interior space has gone through several iterations, always with the intention of using the space as efficiently, naturally, and sustainably as possible, and it’s my hope to contribute to this essentialist living space.

In outlining my goals for this project back in October, I found that I could best articulate them in terms of the framework for leadership developed by the National Outdoor Leadership School. As part of their 4-7-1 model, there are seven leadership skills:

Expedition Behavior // Competence

Communication // Judgment and Decisionmaking

Tolerance to Adversity // Self-Awareness // Vision & Action

My six goals, built on those leadership skills, are:

  1. Improved skill in craft —This is the umbrella objective I hope to achieve; the objectives listed below fit under this general goal, but each merit further explanation.
  2. Articulation of process (Vision and Action / Communication) — I’ll need to clearly lay out a plan of construction, and have confidence in that plan leading to a finished product I’d be proud of.
  3. Adherence to process (Competence / Judgement and Decision Making / Tolerance to Adversity / Vision and Action) — Just as important as the plan itself is my ability to remain on-course and carry out the plan we’ve agreed upon. This might entail having to revise minor aspects or it may mean branching off in a completely new direction.
  4. Personal responsibility in a shop environment (Self Awareness) — I’ve spent plenty of time between the D&E Lab, the Woodshop, and the Theater Scene Shop, and in all of those shop environments, personal responsibility and awareness are critical.
  5. Improving an existing space on campus (Vision and Action) — Whatever the function of my piece, and wherever it lives, my hope is that what I create will be utilized and appreciated.
  6. Leaving a mark (Competence / Vision and Action) — I suppose I’m playing into the natural human tendency to want to leave behind a memento by which I’ll be remembered, but I guess there’s also a reason why this tendency is basically universal in people.


As I’ve already had nearly two full days of work, I’m writing a bit behind schedule, but I’ll make up for that with pictures!

  1. Walnut tabletop, with two mortises (holes) completed to satisfaction, two still to goIMG_0687.jpg
  2. Long walnut board, material for table legsIMG_0006
  3. Potential shelf spaceIMG_0007
  4. Shelf / serving board, pre-separationIMG_0008
  5. Four legs, cut into eight 1×2 lengths, paired according to grain flow, pre-gluingIMG_0011
  6. Legs clamped and glued up, setting overnightIMG_0013
  7. Serving board (currently thinking about feet for this one)IMG_0015
  8. Everything all together: from left to right, long shelf, serving board, tabletop, refuse/spare leg material, legs glued together and drying.IMG_0017


Most of my work will happen in this coming week, so I expect to be posting daily until at least this time next week. Lots more to come!



2 thoughts on “Furnishing the Tiny House — Ethan

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