First furniture design

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Project by VillageWood posted 07-12-2009 03:17 AM 2160 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
First furniture design
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Right off the bat, apologies for the single not-so-clear pic.

After building the lingerie/jewelry chest for my wife’s friend, I wanted to try my hand at designing something from scratch. My sister-in-law was setting up in a new apartment and asked me to make some end tables for beside her couch. She was on limited funds and it had to be cheap. Cheaper than Ikea. Thanks sis! She also had some size restrictions and it had to be close to the colour of the coffee table one of her friends gave her. Well, this is my sister-in-law, so I decided to donate my time and only charge her lumber. Good thing too, as I was designing this from scratch, it took a lot of time.

I hadn’t done any mortise and tenon joinery since I don’t remember when, so I decided to use strictly dowels throughout. In retrospect, this was a bad idea as mortise and tenon would have been MUCH faster, but hindsight being 20/20… The whole thing was built out of 4/4 pine and not top quality pine either. The two tables took the 4 best pine boards of 1×9x96 that I could find at my lumber store for a total of $25. These were knotty so I incorporated the knots as much as possible as visual elements. I encountered some splotching but was able to minimize it by sanding all the way up to 400-grit before staining. As I didn’t have a dowelling jig, I had to make do with whatever was around to hand drill the dowel holes so they lined up properly. I also decided to use through dowelling with the ends of the dowels showing for added interest. It turned out great and she loved the tables. So much so that I only had time to snap this one pic before she rushed off with them… and the was cat constantly trying to be part of the pic and shedding all over the place. I’ll try to get better pics from her place on my next visit.

I will make more of these as I like simple lines, but will mortise and tenon future attemps, and add “show” square dowels of a brighter wood after the fact. One plus of this project is it allowed me to explore different mixes of home-made wiping varnishes, and I manager to get just the smooth finish I wanted.

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#1 posted 07-12-2009 04:40 AM

well done looks good

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View George Barreras's profile

George Barreras

185 posts in 3321 days

#2 posted 07-12-2009 02:41 PM

Nicely done tables especially out of pine. That is all I use on my projects since my partner and I own a sawmill and the ;umber is free.

-- Nubs,Reserve

View brukilla's profile


74 posts in 3272 days

#3 posted 07-12-2009 05:09 PM

Nice table within the restrictions you stated. My first “real” project is going to be an end table. They can look simple, but still be a bear to design and put together. Great job!!

-- "Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing." - Thomas Jefferson

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3474 days

#4 posted 07-12-2009 06:18 PM

Very nice design. Nice job.

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3964 days

#5 posted 07-12-2009 08:32 PM

Nicely done. I like the exposed dowels.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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