Shaker coffee table

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Project by Allen posted 04-06-2007 02:51 PM 1968 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My second “introduction to furniture construction” project and my first try at making a drawer and using a dovetail jig. Walnut frame and legs, hard maple top and drawer front.
Finish is three coats of satin wipe-on poly.

Two sort of funny stories about this table. There are four students in my class. One is my age and the other two students are college age and it feels like a world of difference between them and me. They’re nice kids, but that’s exactly what they seem like to me: kids. I have more in common with the other student who is my age, doing this as a hobby but a serious one, married with kids and a “real job” and we tend to pair up working on our projects. He made his coffee table from poplar and when it came time to assemble the drawers we found that my drawer back was a bit too short and his a bit too long. Just for s*its and giggles we swapped pieces and they fit perfectly. So my drawer is all maple except a poplar back and his is vice-versa.

The other thing… the knob. Just for the heck of it I decided to try and turn my own knob for the drawer out of a cutoff from the leg stock. I did some looking around on the basic shape of a Shaker knob and gave it a whirl. I had no problems rounding the stock between centers but once that was done it ocurred to me… I don’t have a chuck. Since my turning experiance has been limited so far to pens and pencils I only have a small ShopFox mini lathe with a #1MT. I started improvising, screwed a scrap piece of maple to the face plate, rounded it and hollowed out the middle about 1/4” deep and the same diameter as my knob stock, used CA glue to hold the stock in the recess and voila – poor man’s chuck. The knob came out pretty well for a first attempt and I was feeling really proud of myself and my inventiveness until about two days later when I was reading a new issue of Wood or PW or one of those and they had an article on making miniature goblets using a waste block to hold the stock. So I wasn’t as inventive as I thought. Harumph!

-- We may never know who let the dogs out, but I'd bet anything PETA was involved.

8 comments so far

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 4113 days

#1 posted 04-06-2007 02:58 PM

Nice table. I like the maple top over the walnut. Looks great.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4313 days

#2 posted 04-06-2007 07:04 PM

Sound like a very small class..good for learning.

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4160 days

#3 posted 04-06-2007 07:23 PM

Nice table Allen. It sounds like it was a great class to take. I wish they had some like that in my area.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4160 days

#4 posted 04-06-2007 10:14 PM

that is too funny re: the switched parts!!

Inventive is inventive.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 04-07-2007 09:27 PM

Very nice Allen, that drawer sets it off. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4399 days

#6 posted 04-08-2007 12:16 AM

Very nice table Allen. The Walnut and Maple go great together.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3672 days

#7 posted 03-21-2009 01:46 AM

Nice coffee table.

View jeh412's profile


129 posts in 3374 days

#8 posted 03-21-2009 02:08 AM

Nice contrast with the maple and walnut. That’s funny about the drawers!

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

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