Quarter sawn oak "telephone table"

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Project by rwyoung posted 10-06-2016 08:12 PM 1205 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sorta forgot about “Lumberjocks” for a while. Thought it might be nice to push a few projects since the last time I was logged in.

Anyway, built a few of these “telephone tables” or “plant stands” as they might have been called in the catalogs. Not a direct copy of any particular Stickley piece. Sort of an amalgam and loosely based on a design by a friend.

Went with red oak for this since I can get it a whole lot cheaper than white oak and other than the end grain, most people can’t tell the difference under a finish. I’d say at least 30% cheaper for the QS red than QS white around here. And not too shabby with the figure on this top.

The legs are done using lesser looking stuff as a core and then resawing stock to make some thick veneers. Trying to get a quarter sawn look on all four faces. Didn’t work that hard on the spindles or the stretchers though as they are a bit hidden in the shadows.

Mortise and tenon work with the stretchers half-lapped or “egg crate” joint where they cross. Top held with figure-8 fasteners and good old steel slotted screws.

Finish is based on the steps outlined by Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing. But sorry Jeff, didn’t use all the same supplies. Went with orange dewaxed shellac as the sealer and intermediate coat instead of oil/varnish. And the tops get a couple thin layers of waterborne poly since I do call these “plant stands”.

Easy to make, low material count and by by laminating the legs, I can stretch my material use a long way. Maybe 10 hours tops to make (mix of machine and hand work, love planing and scraping oak) but lots of finishing steps so maybe another 4 hands-on hours there.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

6 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2459 days

#1 posted 10-06-2016 09:00 PM

RW, that is very nice looking. I might need to borrow your design because we could use a couple plant stands.

-- Art

View Mean_Dean's profile


6902 posts in 3349 days

#2 posted 10-06-2016 10:21 PM

Well, you really brought out the ray fleck in that top—great looking phone/plant stand!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Mikesawdust's profile


327 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 10-07-2016 01:12 PM

The name brought back memories of the telephone weighing a ton and chained to the wall with a three foot cord, but the table looks great

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3015 days

#4 posted 10-07-2016 03:34 PM

Wow, those Stickley tables are hard enough to build with the half-lapped stretchers. You’ve added another level of complexity with the spindles. I bet that wasn’t easy to assemble. Anyways, the effort was well worth it, as it made a wonderful project. You certainly got the finish right!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2893 days

#5 posted 10-20-2016 06:32 PM

The name brought back memories of the telephone weighing a ton and chained to the wall with a three foot cord, but the table looks great

- Mikesawdust

I had the exact same thoughts . Who needs a Telephone table now days , just put it your Pocket :)

But this will work just fine for a Plant stand.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 850 days

#6 posted 10-20-2016 06:53 PM

Wow … be careful, the Stickley heirs may think you got into the vault and stole the secret finish formula … great job!

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