Black Walnut Narrow Shaker End Table

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Project by Mike posted 05-30-2012 12:12 AM 5752 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my second project, a narrow Shaker style end table I made from Black Walnut. This was a lot of fun to make! The table top taught me a lot about flattening a glued table top using a belt sander. This is also my first oil rubbed finish which I now like better than a poly finish. One the whole table I used pocket hole joinery, and used hard maple drawer sides for contrast. I have to say, it looks nice sitting next to the sofa…I really like it. I plan to wait a bit as a cure time, and then give it a rub down of bees wax.

9 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3189 days

#1 posted 05-30-2012 12:56 AM

Very nice build. At first I was a bit turned off with the pocket holes showing, but after a minute or so they actually grew on me and now I think they look really cool like that! I have to remember about using a contrasting wood for plugs – good idea.

As far as the rest of the table – you hit it out of the park! Great shape, well balanced and it look very sturdy.

Great job!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View KarenW's profile


131 posts in 2308 days

#2 posted 05-30-2012 02:18 AM

Love this! And really like the way you treated the kreg holes with the walnut.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3697 days

#3 posted 05-30-2012 02:28 AM

A real classic look very well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View nomercadies's profile


589 posts in 2459 days

#4 posted 05-30-2012 12:09 PM

This is beautiful. What a treasure. I was thinking of getting into the pocket hole construction, but I fear dimensional conflict from stile and rail expansion and contraction. Does the Kreg system take that into consideration?

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 05-30-2012 01:20 PM

Well done, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Pyamed's profile


30 posts in 2813 days

#6 posted 05-30-2012 05:03 PM

Very nice! Love the colors!

-- Kevin - Rochester, NY

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3606 days

#7 posted 05-30-2012 11:30 PM

mjfnh – nice taper on the legs. very proportional. stately, elegant design. i didn’t know walnut plugs were available. did you make them or buy them? i tried to make some plugs from dowel stock last night. not as easy as it appears. i like the dark walnut look on maple.

nomercadies – you ask if the kreg system takes wood movement into account. the culprit is usually glue joints. kreg “joint” are designed to not require glue. Pockethole screws will flex and give just enough to minimize the effects of wood movement. the amount of wood movement is based on humidity, grain alignment, grain orientation, and board width. a 4” board will move half that of an 8” board. Flat sawn boards move twice as much as quarter or rift sawn. Cross grain construction will affect wood movement, as in vertical grain glued to horizontal grain, i.e. crossgrain. In a humidity controlled environment, such as your home, with forgiving pockethole screws, wood movement should not be an issue. You may need to tighten the screws on occasion, but not much. letting the boards acclimate will also help.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View nomercadies's profile


589 posts in 2459 days

#8 posted 05-31-2012 04:36 AM

Thank you Mr. Roberts. That was just what I was looking for.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Mike's profile


60 posts in 2330 days

#9 posted 05-31-2012 10:32 AM

Thank you everyone for your kind replies, I really appreciate them.

Nomercadies, Davidroberts is correct…the screwed joint seems to allow movement you’ll get from season to season. I’ve done a few repairs to things around the house that began to come apart due to the dry air caused by the woodstove, and pocket hole screws were a good way of rejoining the parts and they’ve stayed together for a few seasons now. Anyone with a wood stove knows how damaging that dry air can be to wood furniture joints…in one of the photos you can see the stove in the background, I don’t expect it to harm this table at all.

Davidroberts, I bought the walnut plugs at a Woodcraft store near by. They seem to have quite a few wood species to choose from. I noticed pine, maple, oak, and cherry…there may have been others. I can imagine that they’d be difficult to make, although I bet you could design a jig that would offer the correct angle. They stick out quite a bit after they’re set, no then again maybe the angle isn’t as important? I use a flush cut saw to take them down and then a sander to get them nice and flush.

Thanks again everyone.

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