Small Chair Side Table

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Project by Lifesaver2000 posted 11-22-2011 07:17 AM 2126 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Although I have built shelves and framed windows and doors around the house over the years, this was my first stand-alone woodworking project since the early 1980’s (That was a large monitor speaker that I still have and use).

I completed this table about two years ago. It was built entirely with wood salvaged from a pallet. I am pretty sure that it was some type of oak. This table had my first mortice and tenon joints, first tapered legs, first glued panels, and my first use of hand planes to smooth the wood.

The color comes from Minwax dark walnut stain, covered with polyurethane from a “rattle can.”

I actually had initially planned to scrap this once it was assembled (before applying the stain), since it was just intended as a practice piece, but my wife saw it, thought it was cute and wanted to keep it. Since I hadn’t initially planned to apply any finish, I was not as careful as I should have been with the glue, so the finish is far from perfect.

The sizing is about right to sit beside a recliner, with the height the same as a standard coffee table (there is an 18 inch ruler in front of the table in the photos for a reference.

From a practical standpoint it was a great project. This table is sitting beside me right now with my tea, and it sees constant use pretty much every day.

4 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


11475 posts in 2343 days

#1 posted 11-22-2011 08:55 AM

Well done. I’ve built several tables of similar size and they are always handy.

-- Rick M,

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 3725 days

#2 posted 11-29-2011 05:00 AM

Nice table,

Did you do this with hand tools only ?
I dont think i have ever done mortise and tenon joints yet, but i`m gona try one day. I bought a shopfox mortising machine about three years ago and have not used it yet, other than checking it out to see if it would run when i first got it

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View Lifesaver2000's profile


551 posts in 3075 days

#3 posted 11-29-2011 04:40 PM

I’m not ready to go hand tool only yet. Used the router for the mortises, table saw for tenons and for tapering the legs and general cutting. Only hand tool use was the planes to smooth the wood, and chisels for fine tuning the mortises. I also used the trick of putting the two boards together back to back and using a plane to get a perfect joint for gluing.

Since then I did pick up a nice old saw, a Disston D-23 that I think is from around the 50’s. It is in great shape and already really sharp, so I am doing a little work with it. There are often times it is much faster to just pick up a hand tool than to mess with setting up a power tool.

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 2309 days

#4 posted 12-25-2011 05:10 AM

can’t believe you thought about throwing this table out. nice work.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

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