Arts and Crafts Wastebasket

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Project by brianl posted 03-06-2010 01:26 AM 3675 views 15 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A simple wastebasket for my home office. Very similar to Hallmark's. I guess he and I both got our inspiration from Mission Furniture: How to Make it.

It is constructed out of red oak from my local homecenter. 17” tall, 16” wide, 12” deep. All mortise and tennon joinery. This was the project that triggered my forum post on small mortises. Before this project I was doing M&T work by hand with a drill and chisel. To do the mortises for all of the slats I bought a router and used a spiral cut bit. What a difference! Doing things by hand is nice, but boy did that router come in handy!

The finish is the same as the step stool I did, Olympic stain and Polycrylic satin. Due to the complexity of the piece I used aerosol Polycrylic – something I will not do again. It is not nearly as smooth to the touch as the brush on is. I’ve noticed that out of all the tasks involved, finishing gives me the biggest headaches.

Since we have hardwood floors, I put felt-covered levelers on the bottom to balance it out and protect the floor. Overall I’m pretty pleased with it!

Lessons Learned
1. The right tool for the job. I bought a chamfering bit for my router to do the tops of the posts. What an amazing difference it made!
2. Doing things by hand is nice, but machines make a huge difference when it comes to speed.
3. Before building a piece, take into account the complexity and plan out how you are going to finish it.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

11 comments so far

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3289 days

#1 posted 03-06-2010 01:40 AM

You should be pleased. It looks great.

I have wanted to make a wastepaper basket for a long time… but admittedly I have little waste paper. Everything is on the computer or put in recycling! I guess I could adapt the design to hold a recycling bin…

View Hugh's profile


65 posts in 3098 days

#2 posted 03-06-2010 03:06 AM

I like it. Very nice

-- Magnolia, Texas

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 3319 days

#3 posted 03-06-2010 03:36 AM

looks good man

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 2995 days

#4 posted 03-06-2010 06:34 AM

Nice mission piece. Looks great.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View jim1953's profile


2734 posts in 3806 days

#5 posted 03-06-2010 06:38 AM

Great Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3070 days

#6 posted 03-06-2010 08:13 AM

Well done, looks great! I made a batch of them and they are alot more work than they look.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3138 days

#7 posted 03-06-2010 08:20 AM

I was just showing my wife this plan, last night!!!

Thanks so much for showing me that the end product IS as beautiful as I guessed it would be.

Really nice execution. I think it’s a fantastic piece, really well done!

-- -- Neil

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#8 posted 03-06-2010 08:35 AM

Very Nice.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CaptainSkully's profile


1590 posts in 3522 days

#9 posted 03-06-2010 04:27 PM

Very cool. There’s a wastebasket in my future too, but I’ll build the one with solid sides. I finish complex pieces before I glue them together. You end up with parts all over the place for a few days, but the finish is much more even.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Mikeyf56's profile


171 posts in 3185 days

#10 posted 03-09-2010 03:54 AM

Nicely done. One of my first projects looks very much like yours, it is on our deck as a flower box. I did my M&T work by hand and am not anxious to do that again.

-- Powered by Smith & Wilson~~~

View Jero's profile


79 posts in 2950 days

#11 posted 04-19-2010 04:45 PM

I really like it. Does a small waste basket go inside of this?

-- Jeremy - Marshfield, WI

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