I had made a small cherry/birdseye maple box for my wife’s Aunt a few months back and have been banging my head against the wall trying to come up with an idea for my wife’s father. A little background on the project’s motivation, the wood was found in a barn on the family farm that we purchased four years ago. My wife’s Great-grandfather used to make furniture on the property in a shop that is now well beyond salvageable. He stored his rough cut lumber supply in another barn on the property. Last year a friend and I where taking some equipment I bought for the farm out and he wanted to walk through the old barn. Well since he is a turner he immediately picked up a piece of the rough cut wood, scraped it with his pocket knife and found it to be cherry. We spent the rest of the afternoon pulling out about 5-600 bd.ft. of cherry from the collapsing barn and moved it to the dry garage. Some wood was beyond salvaging and was left in the old barn. Since then I have been trying to come up with an idea that I could build using some of this wood for my wife’s father. I finally decided on a cherry end table with a drawer.
The first thing I needed to do was come up with a plan, so I sat down and played with Sketchup until I was satisfied with a concept. Very basic and simple style, not sure what “styling” it would fall under, I just liked the design I came up with. The table is 30” tall, top is 19”x19”, legs are 2”x2” for the top 6” then taper to 1”x1” at the bottom, sides are 4” tall. I planned on attaching the side and legs using mortise and tenon joints.
I selected boards for the top, milled them with the planer and jointer. Then I glued them together to form the top. One of pieces had a bit of figure to it so I placed that in the middle of the top. Once the glue dried I let it sit for a week to see if it was going to bow or warp, which it wound up with a bow of less then 1/8”. That was ok as I had milled the boards slightly thick in anticipation of needing to run it through the drum sander. A few passes through the drum sander with 100 grit paper and the top was nice and flat. I went ahead and sanded to 220grit at this point since it was easy to get all sides. The top was then set aside for later use.
Next was the legs, TWICE. I had some cherry that was 3”X7” and plenty long. Well after milling it down I discovered it was absolutely riddled with worm holes. So I milled some of the 4/4 and glued up material for the four legs. After milling those to the right dimensions I used the table saw to cut the taper. That came out rough as all get up, but the jointer made quick work cleaning the tapers up. I then made the side rails, those were simple 4” wide boards. I made the tenons on the rails first. This was done by making several passes on the table saw, that fairly easy. Once I had those I numbered the rail ends and corresponding legs to keep everything organized. Making the tenons was not too bad. I had never done this type of joinery before so I was a little nervous. I put a 3/8” forstner bit in my drill press and set the depth to match the length of the tenons. Then I took a sharp chisel and touched up the mortises. This worked out to be a lot simpler then I thought it would be.
After that assembling the table went pretty quick. All parts were sanded to 220grit, dry fitted, then glued and clamped together. I cut out the drawer prior to assembly and set the cutout aside to be used later.
Once that was allowed to dry I put the drawer slide rails in and glued on the the top.
That is as far as I have gotten so far. I will post more as the project moves forward. I am hoping to have this done by Christmas.
-- Making dust and taking names!