Mission style cocktail table

  • Advertise with us
Project by sanfranciscocedarco posted 12-14-2014 07:27 PM 1777 views 14 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Building a few pieces for a furniture gallery. Living in Northern CA, I figured what could be better than to pay tribute to the local missions that inspired these designs so long ago. As a child we went on school trips to the missions and I always thought they were so beautiful. The first piece I did is based on a Gustav Stickley cocktail table. I have made some adjustments such as as mine is 2” longer, taller,wider, and other dimensions and offsets thought would look nice…. The basic design is no different from tables I have built many times before but with that added Mission style to it. The entire table was built with my domino joiner. I decided to use red oak on the trial piece. Future pieces will be built using quarter sawn White oak.

Thoughts… It’s funny to me. This is not a difficult table to build. But it’s sneaky. It is such a simple design that when I first decided to do it I almost tried to change too much, thinking I wanted people to say wow!!.. Here’s the thing, from my point of view anyway. I came to realize that the beauty of this design is in it’s simplicity. And the sneaky part is in the offsets and small details that attract the eye. If you don’t pay attention you can miss them. But at least on mine. Nothing is flush. Everything has an offset, or is inset in some way. Even the width of the bottom shelf I made one inch wider on each side of the vertical spindles to add another offset. Those are the things that attract the eye and make the piece visually appealing. It doesn’t have to be some crazy new design to catch the eye. This design is almost 120 years old and I believe done properly, it can stand up against anything out there.. I learned a lot about design during this project. Building the easiest thing I’ve built in a long time. I may have learned the most… Pretty cool.

Best regards,
J.D. Goldberg
San Francisco Cedar Co.

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

17 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


23142 posts in 2328 days

#1 posted 12-14-2014 07:34 PM

You did a fine job on this table.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 953 days

#2 posted 12-14-2014 07:36 PM


-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

View Diwayne's profile


265 posts in 2152 days

#3 posted 12-14-2014 07:50 PM

I love mission style. Really nice job.

-- What one man can do, another man can also do.

View dpow's profile


501 posts in 2305 days

#4 posted 12-14-2014 10:03 PM

NICE! I’m working on a similar design myself and can agree with what you said about learning a lot from an easy build. I like the fact your table has some heft to it, not a wimpy looking copy of a timeless classic. Looks good, thanks.

-- Doug

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 953 days

#5 posted 12-14-2014 10:18 PM

Thanks all. Yeah Doug I didn’t look at any plans or anything just did what felt right. The originals used 2 1/2 ” legs mine are 3” I just looked at an old pic and made my version if it. my favorite part is the offsets. it pays tribute to the original, but there is a lot going on under the surface of the basic design.

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

View a1Jim's profile


115202 posts in 3038 days

#6 posted 12-14-2014 10:48 PM

Very nice table.

-- Custom furniture

View AandCstyle's profile


2566 posts in 1718 days

#7 posted 12-15-2014 12:04 AM

JD, I really like your table. Here is my version. Classic designs are classic for a reason.

-- Art

View Gentile's profile


257 posts in 1280 days

#8 posted 12-15-2014 12:39 AM

What did you use for the finish?

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 953 days

#9 posted 12-15-2014 01:15 AM

I dyed the grain dark brown then after sanding back I used a mix of general finishes dye then applied High performance. after it dried I glazed it with the dry/moist stain rag.. then more HP.

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 1360 days

#10 posted 12-15-2014 02:33 AM

That’s very nice, clean work. May I respectfully suggest you are ready for quarter sawn wood? I believe it would add a new dimension to your excellent craft.

-- --Dale Page

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 953 days

#11 posted 12-15-2014 03:21 AM

This is pretty much a practice piece Dale. future pieces will be built from QSWO cherry maybe even mahogany. I Built this for about 100 bucks so it was the perfect warm up.

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

View BigMig's profile


385 posts in 2075 days

#12 posted 12-15-2014 02:44 PM

Beautiful work. Great execution of classic style!

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 953 days

#13 posted 12-15-2014 05:45 PM

Thanks everyone!

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

View calisdad's profile


285 posts in 971 days

#14 posted 12-15-2014 08:53 PM

You’re modest Joshua. I think some here would like to hear about your finishing process.

Nice Job.

View sanfranciscocedarco's profile


48 posts in 953 days

#15 posted 12-15-2014 10:02 PM

I am modest. Most of my techniques are borrowed from Charles Neil. I’ve studied him extensively and it has yet to let me down. I will say one thing. Dyes are great and should not be feared. with proper prep work and application they can help achieve a very special look. Very quickly as well.

-- J.D. Goldberg, California,

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics