Basic Pine Table, er, Desk #1: Mortises and Tenons, square and true. Top is Knot Acceptable.

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Blog entry by Lee Barker posted 04-22-2011 01:15 AM 1731 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Basic Pine Table, er, Desk series no next part

The top is 28×46, to fit in a predetermined place, to match existing cabinetry in the room. Material is eastern soft pine, furniture grade, milled to 5/4. Knots aplenty, but mostly medium (25 cents) and smaller. I cut around the large ones, culling clear stuff for the legs.

Mortising was via my Jet benchtop machine, tenons cut on the tablesaw on a sled. The remaining wood supplied the top. Considerable time was devoted to getting the knots into a “size family” and evenly, but not painstakingly, arrayed.

All is sanded to 150 at this stage. There are two pictures showing a leg atop my downdraft sanding table. The first shows the leg, the second with a horizontal light. The fixture is one of those yellow, sit-on-the-floor, imported halogen fixtures with the tubular bulb. You can see the blowout from the planer in the second image. On a wood that is all one color, like this pine, it can be difficult to see defects without a bright, horizontal light.

I started with 44 board feet and ended up with about 5 feet in scrap. A little too close for comfort, on reflection.

The top requires two cord grommets. Here’s a trick for you if you’re used to smoke rolling out and the stinkum of burned wood fibers being a regular part of your holesaw efforts. Use the pilot and holesaw just enough to score the surface. Now take a 3/8 – 1/2” drill bit and drill two holes just to the outside of the score, opposite each other. Now back to the holesaw. It will go through like the proverbial butter because the chips will fall through the holes.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

8 comments so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2248 days

#1 posted 04-22-2011 01:25 AM

very nice so far


View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 2088 days

#2 posted 04-22-2011 02:23 AM

I like the hole saw trick.
Looks like another fine Lee Barker project coming along well.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2111 days

#3 posted 04-22-2011 04:21 AM

I cant wait to try the holesaw trick. Your project looks good at this point.Thanks for the post.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 2328 days

#4 posted 04-22-2011 04:25 AM

Looking forward to watching this. Thanks.

View devann's profile


2199 posts in 2113 days

#5 posted 04-22-2011 08:42 AM

Looks good, ditto the holesaw tip.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Pete Wadey's profile

Pete Wadey

31 posts in 2262 days

#6 posted 04-22-2011 06:11 PM

Lee, I wish I knew of your hole saw trick about 2 months ago. I made a computer desk top for myself with a cable hole and the hole saw definitely burnt it’s way through.

-- Pete Wadey ,

View Broglea's profile


677 posts in 2512 days

#7 posted 04-22-2011 07:45 PM

Hole saw wisdom. Great tip. Nice project.

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 2500 days

#8 posted 04-23-2011 07:48 PM

thanks for the holesaw tip. that will come in handy.

-- Derek, Iowa

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