Small Table/Desk from Dimensional Lumber

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Project by mspain77 posted 09-08-2018 05:27 AM 1563 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I used Lowe’s thirteen best Douglas Fir 2×4’s for this build. I was inspired by Jay Bates’ videos where he makes beautiful household furniture using dimensional lumber.
I employed all mortise and tenon joinery, and for the breadboard ends I used his “Wedged through mortise and tenon sprung breadboard end” that he showcases in his dining table build video. The only hardware on this desk are the table top hold-down fasteners.
I tapered the legs on two sides and finished it with nine coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly whilst giving it a brown paper bag sanding between coats. I did my best to choose nothing but beautiful straight grain boards and wasn’t as worried about the sapwood and heartwood areas clashing. In fact, I like that aspect.
Any questions and/or comments are appreciated.

-- It's a BEAUTIFUL day to cut some wood & build something!

12 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


2643 posts in 1863 days

#1 posted 09-08-2018 10:44 AM

beautiful table and great build

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View TDominy's profile


130 posts in 2783 days

#2 posted 09-08-2018 12:29 PM

Thanks for posting. I have done bread boards before and have used a series of through dowels to secure it.

Next time I am going to use the sprung technique you used. I had not seen that before, learn something new every day if you go to the right place.

-- By hammer in hand, all things do stand.

View ralbuck's profile


5546 posts in 2507 days

#3 posted 09-08-2018 04:40 PM

beautiful table and great build

- recycle1943

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View AlanJ44's profile


250 posts in 1528 days

#4 posted 09-08-2018 07:27 PM

Good looking work

-- Alan J. Hoover, AL Keeping in mind I believe college football is only a profit center for the school.... Roll Tide!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3108 days

#5 posted 09-08-2018 07:33 PM

You did a nice job on this piece.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View NormG's profile


6378 posts in 3245 days

#6 posted 09-08-2018 08:39 PM

Looks well done, thank you for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View therealSteveN's profile


1907 posts in 815 days

#7 posted 09-08-2018 08:55 PM

Classic Pigs ear into a Silk purse setting here. Nice build, and you just need to be quiet about dimensional lumber, say it’s the ultra rare Albino Whazzieri wood. not to be confused with the much more expensive all Black Whazzieri Ebony, Same stuff just with rattle can spray paint :-)

Dontcha just love a brown paper bag, I call it “nib be gone.”

The breadboard ends will likely save you the horror of watching the downside to dimensional lumber on a supposedly flat top, Darned if the stuff just wants to follow that grain.

Thanks for posting, nice build.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Oldtool's profile


2747 posts in 2432 days

#8 posted 09-09-2018 01:37 AM

Great work on this table, you did a fantastic job with the grain selection and placement yielding the quarter sawn appearance.
Did you find any wood movement after dimensioning the components?, typical of construction grade lumber.
This is inspirational for me, currently in between projects and looking for another. I’ll give the Lowe’s fir lumber a try, and see what I can come up with.
Thanks for posting …..

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View swirt's profile


3574 posts in 3213 days

#9 posted 09-09-2018 02:18 AM

Nice looking results from a construction lumber.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mspain77's profile


67 posts in 1032 days

#10 posted 09-09-2018 02:56 PM

WOW!! You are all too kind! Thanks for the positivity and great feedback! And therealSteveN…HAHA!! Love it! I’ll keep that in mind if I ever work with dimensional lumber again.

-- It's a BEAUTIFUL day to cut some wood & build something!

View mspain77's profile


67 posts in 1032 days

#11 posted 09-09-2018 02:59 PM

@Oldtool, I saw in the videos that prompted this build to do your glue ups the same day as your dimensioning to circumvent that. That being said, the glued up top sat in my shop for a few months before I added the breadboard ends and I didn’t notice any movement. I also let it acclimate in my shop about a month after purchasing and before I did any cutting.

-- It's a BEAUTIFUL day to cut some wood & build something!

View kipibenkipod's profile


71 posts in 1565 days

#12 posted 09-23-2018 08:12 AM

Really a very nice result from this lumber. It just looks beautiful.
Its amazing what you can achieve with dimensional lumber.

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