small oak coffee table

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Project by jmp posted 02-19-2011 03:49 PM 1728 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am quite excited as I have just finished my first ever project. I only just started furniture making evening classes last September and at Christmas got my first commission to build a small oak coffee table for my sister in law, Tessa, who had her birthday last week. I had already sourced the wood, European oak, in October and after letting it settle indoors started work in December. I have limited access to machinery so the mortice and tenon joints were all cut by hand. The first problem I encountered was when I came to finish the table tops by hand plane and had major problems with tear out. Fellow Lumberjocks come to my rescue and I managed to sort this out with a belt sander. I had decided to finish before glue up and had some helpful advice from Scott Bryan (many thanks Scott) about using General Finishes Arm-r-seal wipe on urethane. I found it really easy and would definitely use again. For the top I gave a daily thin wipe over and lost count of the number of coats but it was probably close to 10. Gluing up was frightening. I used polyurethane glue which I found difficult to use but took it slowly and everything ended up square but a little messy. I have since used Titebond which is much easier and I will probably stick with. Working to a tight deadline was not a good idea as I started to rush and made a few mistakes at the end which I was able to deal with but things could have been much worse. I was pleased with the final result and importantly so was Tessa. As a result, she has asked me to make a large dining room table for her next birthday.
I have learnt a lot already and am especially grateful to all the L-Js that took the time to give a newbie advice.

5 comments so far

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3095 days

#1 posted 02-19-2011 04:17 PM

Looks great!! Nice job.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Hodson's profile


1 post in 2681 days

#2 posted 02-19-2011 08:42 PM

We are very pleased with the coffee table Uncle Jon has made for us! And we can’t wait to see his next piece of work!

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2979 days

#3 posted 02-19-2011 10:41 PM

That’s a fine-looking table. Great wood selection too!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3146 days

#4 posted 02-19-2011 11:34 PM

One solid looking table, very nice, I bet it could hold up the house if it needed to, she must love this unique piece of wood art, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View woodworm's profile (online now)


14468 posts in 3618 days

#5 posted 06-09-2011 06:03 PM

Nicely built table, beautiful wood grain too.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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