Mission Flip-top Side Table

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Project by JLadd posted 06-27-2012 03:28 AM 3406 views 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just started woodworking a couple years ago. I’ve been working on small projects as I collect more tools. This is the first project I’ve posted. I just finished it up last week. It’s by far my most elaborate project and I gained some good experience. I used 4 different joinery techniques; pocket holes for the top, mortise and tenon for the sides, dowels to attach the mag rack to the sides, and recessed screws w/ plugs to make the rack.

I used poplar for this project, which was easy to work with, but presented a challenge when it came to stain. I tested regular oil based stain, but it came out really splotchy, even after I tried wood conditioner. I wound up using wood conditioner with General Finishes Java gel stain with several coats of satin spray-on poly. The gel stain didn’t soak in near as much as the regular stuff, so it turned out a lot more even.

For as much inspiration as I get from this community, I must admit I actually saw this on LL Bean’s website as I was looking for ideas for something to put my coffee on next to my recliner. I made the plans in SketchUp with a few customizations. If you want the plans, let me know. The storage under the top is pretty handy and the rack holds plenty of books without the need for bookends.

I love this site and look forward to your feedback. Hopefully I’ll post some of my smaller projects soon also.

13 comments so far

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4194 days

#1 posted 06-27-2012 03:59 AM

I love it! What a great project. This is your first? It turned out wonderful. Thanks for sharing.


-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3359 days

#2 posted 06-27-2012 08:55 AM

Nice work, great first project post!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4150 days

#3 posted 06-27-2012 11:44 AM

You did a very nice job on this.

I would avoid pocket screws in areas that will be visable… that’s just me though.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3238 days

#4 posted 06-27-2012 01:42 PM

Great job!! Like the design. Would be interested in the plans.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View JLadd's profile


6 posts in 2834 days

#5 posted 06-27-2012 05:54 PM

Thanks, everyone!

Lee, I agree. I planned to use the angled wood plugs Kreg sells, but it leaves a lot of scrap above the surface and I don’t have a flush-cut saw. Worried I might just make it look worse using a chisel or something, I just left it open.

View Woodbridge's profile


3579 posts in 2588 days

#6 posted 06-28-2012 12:38 AM

Great looking table.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4497 days

#7 posted 06-28-2012 12:59 AM

great design!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View alekhine's profile


50 posts in 2729 days

#8 posted 06-28-2012 07:34 AM

Great first project and i like your finish especially.

-- Efe Yaparoglu ,Izmir.... Not getting what u wished is a sign that there is something better behind.

View DocSavage45's profile


8706 posts in 3013 days

#9 posted 06-28-2012 03:49 PM

Piece is visually pleasing from here. We are our own worst critiues and we learn from making mistakes, more than success? Finishing is equally important in our skill base.

If you are interested in what options are available you might check out “the workshop with Charles Neil.” he has developed a “Blotch control” preconditioner. Has many great reviews. The also has put out several finishing information you tube videos, and he has a DVD set called ” Finishing from A to Z”

Tauton press has also put out books and some DVD’s in this area.

Looking forward to seeing your next build!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3058 days

#10 posted 06-28-2012 04:41 PM

Hi JLadd.

Great first posting! Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3027 days

#11 posted 06-28-2012 04:43 PM

That is a very nice table

Look forward to your future

posts on LJ’s


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View tazray's profile


33 posts in 2569 days

#12 posted 07-02-2012 12:56 AM

Very nice project. very interested in the plans for this

View hjt's profile


901 posts in 3308 days

#13 posted 11-05-2013 11:37 PM

Wow that’s nice – wish you had some photos of the build.

-- Harold

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