Best effort yet!!! - Red oak end tables

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Project by lumberjoe posted 07-03-2012 01:37 PM 1657 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are your run of the mill plain Jane shaker end tables. Even though they are very plain, I an SUPER proud of them. I think I am finally getting to the point where I can make a halfway decent project. The tables are completely flat, completely square, and identical. Making two of something the same is pretty difficult for me. I am pleased to say there is not one single mistake on these tables. The mortise and tenons fit perfectly, the tops fit perfectly, and the leg taper is perfect. Like with the other tables I made, the legs are laminated 4/4 rather than 8/4. I really like the look of the side grain when laminated. The rays form a “V” and it looks really cool (to me anyway).

Finish is natural Danish oil and wax. The finish on these came out amazing. Dimensions are 24” high, 18” square. These also did not take me forever to build. Cuts and glue-up was done in about 6 hours. The finishing process took a while, but that is to be expected with Danish oil.

I realize this is about as simple as simple gets and they will likely be completely overlooked here, however these tables are a huge confidence booster for me. I was really comfortable and confident in all measurements, cuts, and joinery – something I have yet to claim in any previous project. I had some doubt whether or not I would ever “get it”, but it’s starting to sink in. My hope has always been to create something beautiful out of wood, this is one tiny step closer to that goal

Thanks for looking, and thanks a lot of you for putting up with my dumb questions and setting me on the right path!


19 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


11696 posts in 1790 days

#1 posted 07-03-2012 01:48 PM

Well done Joe, everythign looks like it came out nice and tight. Finsih looks great too!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View MT_Stringer's profile


2187 posts in 2014 days

#2 posted 07-03-2012 02:03 PM

Yep, what he said!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Mosquito's profile


5327 posts in 1076 days

#3 posted 07-03-2012 02:05 PM

Looking good!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View workerinwood's profile


2715 posts in 1851 days

#4 posted 07-03-2012 02:16 PM

Great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Bennie Woods's profile

Bennie Woods

61 posts in 1457 days

#5 posted 07-03-2012 02:23 PM

I think you did great Joe! I’d like to make a pair like that. Thanks for posting with the dimensions.

-- Bennie Woods, USS FRANK CABLE, GUAM

View Bob817's profile


655 posts in 1166 days

#6 posted 07-03-2012 02:54 PM

Great job Joe, nothing like a good confidence booster. They look awsome!

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View lumberjoe's profile


2853 posts in 1032 days

#7 posted 07-03-2012 03:05 PM

Thanks guys. Now that these are done I am going to focus on my shop. First step is filling up that massive dumpster. Then I will build a lot of fixtures and jigs


View BinghamtonEd's profile


1615 posts in 1153 days

#8 posted 07-03-2012 03:48 PM

Nice job. They might be simple looking but the difficulty and complexity is in executing the details, which you’ve done extremely well here.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View lumberjoe's profile


2853 posts in 1032 days

#9 posted 07-03-2012 04:12 PM

Ed, I agree. Making round trees square is the hardest part. getting clean lines with no gaps, an a perfect 1/4 spacing between the edge of the legs and the aprons was the hardest part. For once I didn’t struggle at all and they both came out perfect on the first shot. That is why I am so proud of these


View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

90 posts in 2177 days

#10 posted 07-03-2012 08:56 PM

Practice makes perfect and sometimes firewood.

-- Stephen NYS

View Douglas's profile


343 posts in 1343 days

#11 posted 07-04-2012 01:14 AM

Really nice. Doing a simple project right is a great achievement in itself.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View gfadvm's profile


11795 posts in 1473 days

#12 posted 07-04-2012 01:34 AM

Tables are never “simple” builds. Ya done great here and I agree that you should be very proud of these. I’m happy with mine when all 4 legs reach the floor!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View lumberjoe's profile


2853 posts in 1032 days

#13 posted 07-04-2012 01:43 AM

Thanks guys! I was so happy when I flipped them over and there was no wobble at all. I actually like doing mortise and tenons now instead of fearing them.


View ChrisMc45's profile


94 posts in 1643 days

#14 posted 07-04-2012 03:12 AM

Yes, “plain Jane” but that is what Shaker style is. You used mortise-and-tenon joinery, rarely easy, i often have “cheated” with dowels or biscuits on table leg joining aprons, with mixed results. I have never made ANYthing where I could say “not one single mistake”. Very good work on your part, good on you.

View PSUmike's profile


22 posts in 951 days

#15 posted 07-04-2012 01:06 PM

Great job Joe! How did you join the top to the rails & legs?

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