2-face Table Project - I need help

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Blog entry by RedBeard posted 05-17-2008 04:15 AM 1145 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am building a project for my senior thesis. Its a shaker style table that will be cut in half. One half will be built as close to perfect as I can make it with beautiful wood, and intricate joinery. The other half will be loaded with mistakes including poor wood selection, not accounting for seasonal movement, bad joinery, and anything else I can come up with. This is where I need help. Please let me know what mistakes you have made in building furniture, or any ideas that you may have to help with this project. Right now making the crap side is turning out to be harder than making the good side. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

-- Measure once, cut twice

7 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3889 days

#1 posted 05-17-2008 04:35 AM

So making a mistake is a good thing. You are designing in a mistake—- if you make the mistake correctly does that make it a mistake or perfect???? Wow—I don’t envy you your task.

Mistakes—not checking for square
not cutting to correct length
Not cutting square
oh I could go on, but will let other LJS have a crack at it.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3781 days

#2 posted 05-17-2008 06:18 AM

Tear out, tear out, and more tear out.
Not levelling the aprons so the top doesn’t fit flush
Forgetting to offset the joinery for a designed reveal between leg and apron
Poor top glue up and poor flattening

finally, not accounting for wood movement. (that will be hard to illustrate in the short term)

I can’t wait to see this finished project. The above mistakes are ones that I have only heard of since I have never made them before. (crack of the lightening strike)

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3767 days

#3 posted 05-17-2008 06:37 AM

Poor fitting joints and poor finish job. I am looking forward to seeing this one.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 3764 days

#4 posted 05-17-2008 05:37 PM

The dreaded glue smear that you did not sand out. Nothing is more noticable than that lighter colored spot in the top of a table…

Also, I’ll agree with Shannon on tear out,... Tear out is the hallmark of lazy! Too lazy to sharpen tools.

And, try this one… Measure it with a micrometer, Mark it with a piece of chalk and cut it with a chainsaw.

Good luck…


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View MSRiverdog's profile


88 posts in 3729 days

#5 posted 05-17-2008 11:26 PM

You must have the slipped router cut-ragged, make an S, a chew, a BAD burn, foot or so of slip-skip-rip. I ain’t telling anymore of my secrets.


View RedBeard's profile


37 posts in 3655 days

#6 posted 05-18-2008 04:45 PM

Thanks so much for all of the comments. This site is great. I’m going to attempt to assemble the bad half today with bad dowel joints, glued and screwed breadboard, a bad top glue-up, and lots of your suggestions. I think it will be fun. Hopefully it doesn’t look too contrived. Once the top is glued up, I’m going to soak it, then let it dry out in the sun for a day or two. With any luck it will crack and bow. Please keep the suggestions coming. You guys are great.


-- Measure once, cut twice

View RedBeard's profile


37 posts in 3655 days

#7 posted 06-13-2008 06:09 AM

I am finally finished with the table. I posted it as a project with a few pictures – more to come. Thanks for all of your help.


-- Measure once, cut twice

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