Shaker Sofa Table #1: Project Planning and Getting Lumber

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Blog entry by Douglas posted 01-26-2013 12:53 AM 5925 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shaker Sofa Table series Part 2: Legs and Aprons »

My sister just moved into a new house, and as a gift, I wanted to make her something. She needed a sofa table, as her sofa backs into her living room. Over the holidays, I took my measurements, floated a few designs her way, and we settled on a two drawer Shaker style hall table, made a bit thinner, to be a sofa table. This will be my first project for someone other than myself & my wife. It will also be the first project with my new bench, so I’m very excited to get use that.

Here’s a photo of what it will closely resemble…

... The main changes being it will bet just a touch shorter, and narrower (about 9” instead of the 14” or so shown in the photo. Also, I’m doing inset, not overlay drawers.

The wood will be cherry, with an amber shellac finish.


The lumber store had a good supply of cherry, and with a couple 5/4 and 8/4 pieces, one sheet of 1/4” cherry veneer plywood, and some poplar for the drawer sides, I was all set. I got the lumber back to the shop, marked up the pieces, and rough cut them to size. I had enough width on my piece for the legs to get one extra “good” leg, just in case I screw one of the others up, as well as two piece of leg size from the outside edges that contain a lot of sap wood. Those will be good for testing the as-of-yet-not-built taper jig I’ll need. I also have enough extra to cover if I make mistakes on some of the other pieces. I’ve learned that having extra pieces, and working them along with your “main” pieces as you go can be a life saver when needing to make test cuts or sneaking up on a setting.

I stickered them to sit over night and acclimate to the shop. Tomorrow I’ll mill them and get them to final size.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

3 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6856 posts in 3979 days

#1 posted 03-19-2013 01:46 PM

Hi Douglas,

Nice work…many people skip the sticker them overnight part. I’m glad to see other people do it too. It does make a difference.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Kevbo's profile


13 posts in 1896 days

#2 posted 03-19-2013 08:56 PM

What does it mean to “sticker them overnight?”

Thanks for the detailed photos!


-- Makin' the most of the tools I have...

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2559 days

#3 posted 03-19-2013 10:22 PM

Kevbo – It means that after I did the rough milling, I stacked them with sticks “stickers” in between the boards (as shown in my last photo here), to make sure all the parts were exposed to the air evenly, so that any residual moisture could escape, or any wood movement could happen before working with the final sizes.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

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