Shaker Side Table

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Project by WirelessWoodworker posted 08-09-2017 02:49 PM 1102 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The side table seems to be one of the most popular beginning woodworking projects and I had never made one, so it was about time! Some call these side tables, some call them end tables, plant stands, night tables, etc. I have no idea what’s correct, but I’m sticking with side. Feel free to disagree.

While building it you can really see why it’s so popular. There are so many different directions that you can go with the basic design and so many different construction/joinery options you can use that it’s accessible to pretty much everyone.

I decided on a classic shaker design with mostly traditional joinery. The aprons are joined to the legs with mortise and tenons and the drawer is dovetailed.

Everything is made of cherry except the drawer sides, which are poplar. Selecting the right stock for the different pieces actually makes a big difference to the final look of the piece – I had no idea. Chris Schwarz did a nice DVD for Lie-Nielsen a while back with the whole construction process, including selecting the right stock, and I think it makes a big difference to the overall look/feel.

Feel free to take a look at the full blog post here and I also filmed the whole process:

I’m really happy with how everything came out. The cherry is maybe a little splotchy, but nobody except me will ever notice. It fits in with the house really well and is something I’m happy to take credit for when people comment.

-- Tim, Delaware,

7 comments so far

View fivecodys's profile


838 posts in 1475 days

#1 posted 08-09-2017 04:24 PM

Oh man! I really like this.
You got it all just right!
Congratulations on a job well done!

-- Chem, Central California

View CharlesA's profile


3294 posts in 1636 days

#2 posted 08-09-2017 04:26 PM

Nice job. The blotching will go away.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View PaxJen's profile


39 posts in 495 days

#3 posted 08-09-2017 04:27 PM

Lovely piece. Nice work.

-- Pax - Maryland - Looking stupid is my superpower

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


14857 posts in 2457 days

#4 posted 08-09-2017 04:30 PM

I agree with the other commenters: Very nice build, looks great!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View EarlS's profile


609 posts in 2187 days

#5 posted 08-09-2017 04:52 PM

I think one of the reasons it is so popular is the simple elegance of the final product. Yours certainly is something I would notice and stop to admire.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Vindex's profile


76 posts in 661 days

#6 posted 08-09-2017 06:35 PM

This is an absolutely gorgeous side table. The Shaker side table might be a very popular project, but you really brought something special to this one!

View WirelessWoodworker's profile


57 posts in 1095 days

#7 posted 08-09-2017 06:50 PM

Nice job. The blotching will go away.

- CharlesA

Thanks Charles – I’m thinking it will too. I did a step stool a little over a year ago in the same cherry stock and it’s gotten considerably darker already.

-- Tim, Delaware,

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