Ash side table for nursery

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Project by markrules posted 06-22-2009 04:38 AM 1999 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this out of about $45 worth of Ash which I’d never worked with before. Ash is VERY easy to work with, very hard, has great grain figure, and cuts and machines very nicely. It’s often used to mimic oak because of the figure. And it’s very cheap. I think I’ll build the coffee table out of Ash when it comes time to tackle that project. This was a dream wood to work with. The picture below is the lower shelf and I absolutely love the way it turned out. It was the most challenging from a woodworking point of view because of the way it attaches to the legs (half-inch tenons on both sides of each leg). Because of how it was put together, it all had to go together at the same time, gluing it all together in a flurry of clamps and straps and drips.

This is the detail of the legs and aprons. I used a 1/2” core box bit set to 1/8” deep. It gave the legs an elegant look while the aprons didn’t seem right until I thought of adding the line there too. The distance to the bottom of the apron to the groove is the same as the side of the leg to the groove. I’m sure that’s some sort of rule or something, but I decided to do it and I think it looks ok. The finish is three coats of Red Mahogany Minwax stain followed by three coats of Minwax Poly (semi-gloss). The legs were ripped from 8/4 (wood lingo for 2”) stock while the rest was from 5/4. I thought that would make the table look a bit more beefy.

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#1 posted 06-22-2009 04:42 AM

nice side table well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#2 posted 06-22-2009 04:43 AM

Great Looking Table!!

Nice detail on the legs, too.

Never worked with Ash but the grain looks a lot like Oak.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 3266 days

#3 posted 06-22-2009 04:51 AM

Nice work, I am trying to decide on a wood species for a baby crib, and your words about ash may have swayed me in that direction.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View markrules's profile


146 posts in 4112 days

#4 posted 06-22-2009 01:50 PM

I picked ash because of the price. I had no idea how much I would love it. It was cheaper than red oak (which I used on my last still-to-be-posted project). Then I found out that lots of people use ash to mimic oak’s grain structure and so forth. It’s as hard as I’ve ever worked with before and cuts like a dream. I would definitely would definitely build my crib out of this if we didn’t already buy one expertly made in China!

View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3320 days

#5 posted 06-22-2009 02:12 PM

Nice looking table. I was looking for design inspiration for the side table that I am building and I really like the way the legs turned out with the core bit groove.

I used ash for my first large build and I absolutely love it. It is getting more expensive in the Northeast, though, due to the ash borer beetle killing off a lot of the wood (so I have been told).


View SST's profile


790 posts in 4192 days

#6 posted 06-22-2009 03:38 PM

Nice choice for wood. I have a down ash tree on my property & I’ve used some branches for smaller projects & agree that it is very easy to work with. I’ve played with several stains & finishes & it seems that every tone I try looks good.

Your mahogany tone is a favorite of mine. The grain seems to jump from the wood. If you’re interested in experimenting, you might try a wash coat of 1 1/2 to 2 lb cut clear shellac before staining ash with some of the darker stains. You can get a different, less intense look as a variation.

You’ve got me thinking ash, again. I’ve been putting off sawing up that tree, but I believe it’s time to get it cut & dry. Nice work & thanks for sharing. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Jason's profile


659 posts in 3505 days

#7 posted 06-22-2009 07:07 PM

I haven’t used many woods, but I have used ash with good results. The grain pattern is great and I agree that different stains still look great.

I am building two nightstands out of ash now and intend to stain them with a walnut stain. I stained a few smaller pieces of scrap a while back and loved the look it gave the grain.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3670 days

#8 posted 06-24-2009 03:25 PM

Nice side table.

View Rasearthman's profile


8 posts in 2648 days

#9 posted 02-21-2011 10:47 PM

Wow Nice Table , Pls Are you selling it? Pm Me thanks

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