Arts and Crafts End Table - first "real" project

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Project by Dinger posted 12-31-2012 06:11 PM 1572 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Arts and Crafts End Table - first "real" project
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Hello fellow LJ’s. This is my first “real” project, and there were a lot of firsts. This was the first time I used mortise and tenon joinery. First time I made a drawer. First time I glued up a panel. Looking forward to my many seconds! I used a plan from Woodcraft and acquired some quarter sawn white oak from a local DIY saw mill for a $1.25/bf and I must say, the cost of doing this project in QSO for my first project was what took me so long to start it. The boards were not perfectly clear, but I could buy so much I could cut around the knots. The case is all mortise and tenon joinery, as are the vertical decorative “spindles”, the the shelf sits in a dado, and the drawer is made with locking rabbet joinery. I took my time (started in July) over the course of several months. I also launched a new business in September so don’t give me too hard of a time. I’ve already prepared the lumber for the second one, so it shouldn’t take 6 months… as a matter of fact, I will cutting mortises and tenons today.

A few things that could’ve gone better: I was not that pleased with the finish. First of all, white oak does not stain anything like the pictures on General Finishes (or Minwax’s) cans. I tried five colors before going to GF’s Java, which looked black on the can, but came out just the color I wanted…ok, fine, the color my wife wanted! It matches the table. Anyway, the application of the gel stain was an interesting experience. I was told gel stains work well on vertical surfaces, which is true, and also, I couldn’t find Java in oil- or water-based anyway. My issue was trying to do too much in a section at a time and having a hard time wiping all the remnants of the stain, so I’ll difinately work in smaller sections next time. The other bummer about the finish was I don’t believe I let the stain dry long enough. It was in my shop which is my garage but maintains a pretty constant temp of 50 degrees, but even after 12 hours as I was applying the Arm-R-Seal it seemed to smudge the stain that appeared to be dry, and I ended up with streaks. My cloth even picked up some stain on the second coat. Any thoughts?

The only other thing is that the rails are all backwards. They are supposed to be flush with the inside of the case, not the outside. Since it’s sister will be on the other side of the room, I’ve decided to correct this on the second one. Thanks for looking and criticism is the path to growth so… help me grow in my woodworking skills!

PS I’ll add more pics later.

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

4 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5816 posts in 3050 days

#1 posted 12-31-2012 08:37 PM

Well done, nice project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3073 days

#2 posted 12-31-2012 09:59 PM

Lots of firsts Dinger – very well done. Love learning in the shop. Makes our hobby exciting.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View jeff's profile


1132 posts in 3701 days

#3 posted 01-01-2013 01:30 AM

yup everybody has first’s…nice job…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View woodrookieII's profile


273 posts in 2900 days

#4 posted 01-02-2013 02:44 AM

Very Nice!!!


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