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Furniture Builds #1: Cherry Shaker-inspired End Table

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Blog entry by rdwile posted 01-30-2013 07:52 PM 2510 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The last time I was over at my son’s apartment he “casually” mentioned that he needed an end table beside his couch to put things on, so I decided this would be my next project. After the toolchest build I was looking for a small project that was hand tool centric that I could build in a few days.

All the other pieces I have made for him have been Cherry so the wood choice was easy. I had built an end table similar to this in the past so quickly threw down some measurements and ripped the legs up. The skirt is tenoned into mortises on the legs and cut on my bench mortiser.

The front top rail is dovetailed into the top of the legs and the bottom front rail is tenoned into the leg. The drawer front is Birdseye Maple and will contrast nicley once the cherry darkens up some more.

I also had a chance to try out a prototype joiner’s float from Liogier in France on the mortises – this underused tool is fine for smoothing the sides of the mortises and cleaning up the tenons for fitting. I am doing a video and atrticle on this for when these tools are eventually released by Liogier – more on that later.

Here’s a picture of the parts stacked up ready for assembly.

And a picture of the completed base with the dovetailed drawer installed, including a hidden compartment at the back.

Now I needed to make a top to fit the finished base, I always do this last in case the base ends up a little different in size.

First step with my Sauer A1 panel plane makes it all flat:

Second is to eliminate any minor humps and bumps with the Marcou S20a smoother.

Finally my little Holtey 11SA smoother makes it like glass.

My finishing schedule is to use a couple coats of Deft Danish Oil to give it that oil finish colour deepness and then topped off with a few coats of Minwax wipe-on satin poly for protection and sheen.

And a few shots of the finished piece:

-- Richard D. Wile, http://richard-wile.blogspot.ca/



9 comments so far

View chansen's profile

chansen

12 posts in 1119 days


#1 posted 01-30-2013 08:58 PM

Richard -

Very nice work. I am about to build a couple myself, with pretty much the exact same design and dimensions but we’re using English walnut instead.

If you don’t mind, I have a couple questions to see how my design compares to yours. How wide are the table legs at the top and bottom? And, what are the dimensions of your drawer front?

Thanks for sharing,

Christian

View rdwile's profile

rdwile

141 posts in 863 days


#2 posted 01-30-2013 11:29 PM

Hi Christian and thanks,

I have made one end table identical to this and 3 others similar in dimension. The overall unit is 25” high which has an impact on leg width in my opinion. These legs are 1-3/8” square at the top, the taper starts 6” from top in order to stay away from the joinery and the leg tapers to 1”, I only remove material from the two inside faces, so that’s a taper of 3/8” over 19”. I like this taper (vs. 4 sided) because it makes things looks slimmer while keeping strength. The overhang of the top is 1.5” on all sides, so the drawer width ends up being whatever is left, in this case is 12.25” wide x 3 “high, this is the last piece made to fit so there is no gaps, the drawer is made to fit the drawer front dimensions. The other important dimension I believe is apron height, in this case its 4.25” which creates a pleasing perspective for me..

When making a project like this I use rough dimensions for the material cuts and build to finished dimensions as I go, this avoids wasted material and gaps where you don’t want them.

Hope this helps.

-- Richard D. Wile, http://richard-wile.blogspot.ca/

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10374 posts in 1370 days


#3 posted 01-31-2013 12:25 AM

Excellent table, nice build, galoot index very healthy indeed! Well done, thanks for sharing!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View chansen's profile

chansen

12 posts in 1119 days


#4 posted 01-31-2013 04:32 AM

Richard -

Thanks for the info, it helps a ton.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11685 posts in 2439 days


#5 posted 01-31-2013 08:02 PM

Did you give any thought to beveling the top for a lighter appearance ?
Overall , a very nice , sturdy looking table : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View rdwile's profile

rdwile

141 posts in 863 days


#6 posted 02-01-2013 12:21 AM

Hi Dusty56, I normally round the edge, but I wanted this look to match another table I had already made for him. I like this simple square edge, on a narrower table I would likely bevel the tabletop on the bottom side.

-- Richard D. Wile, http://richard-wile.blogspot.ca/

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11685 posts in 2439 days


#7 posted 02-01-2013 03:27 AM

Thanks : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Nold's profile

Nold

9 posts in 700 days


#8 posted 02-04-2013 04:15 PM

I would like to attempt something like this as a first hand tools project, however, drawers indimidate me! The taper on the legs is also intimidating. Did you cut the taper using a hand saw?

I plan to make something similiar, minus the drawer for my first project.

How is the top attached?

View rdwile's profile

rdwile

141 posts in 863 days


#9 posted 02-04-2013 07:12 PM

The tapers are cut on a tablesaw jig I made years ago. It makes very quick work and worth the time to build a good one. The one I had before was pretty crappy and after I ruined a nice piece of walnut, it was time to make a good one with a toggle clamp as hold-down.

I would encourage you to try the drawer, as it adds lots of practicality to the piece. You don’t need to make a dovetailed one, just make a box for the inside of the drawer on some nice slides and screw on a front to match.

The top is attached to the top drawer guide (see third photo) and there are elongated holes cut in this piece and screwed from below.

-- Richard D. Wile, http://richard-wile.blogspot.ca/

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