Ana White - Rustic X Console

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Forum topic by nogeel posted 10-27-2015 07:20 AM 1290 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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77 posts in 1266 days

10-27-2015 07:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pine joining question wood movement

My wife would like me to build this from I need advice as a new woodworker.

I know projects are on her site tend to be designed for having minimal tools (basically a sander, circular saw, drill, and kreg jig). I don’t want to go over kill, but want to make a good piece of furniture that will be sturdy, last and handle wood movement. As someone with who also has a compound sliding mitre saw, table saw, router, and small band saw, jack plane, and chisels are there any not overly complex changes I should make to the design to improve the quality. I am still planning on making it out of pine (possibly Southern Yellow Pine).

-- Jeff, Tennessee

7 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30047 posts in 2535 days

#1 posted 10-27-2015 10:54 AM

Ana is a good lady. Actually spoke to her once. Wish she had time to join us here. Your project looks pretty straight forward. It should be solid to build as it looks.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Tony1212's profile


250 posts in 1931 days

#2 posted 10-27-2015 04:16 PM

The only knock I’ve seen against Ana White is that she doesn’t take wood movement into account in her designs. She likes to permanently attach (pocket hole screws and such) end grain to side grain. That’s where you’re going to have all your problems.

In this project, that concern arises in steps 3 and 4 where she trims the ends of the 1×12 shelf with 2×4 blocks. The 1×12 is going to want to expand front to back. The 2×4 blocks are going to try to prevent that and cause stress, which could cause the pocket hole screws attaching the 2×4 blocks to the legs to fail.

But to be honest, I have no idea how likely that is. I’m just not experienced enough, being a weekend warrior and all.

I see two possible solutions:

1) The easiest thing to do (and what I would do) is use cabinet grade plywood instead of a 1×12. Plywood is dimensionally stable, so you don’t have to account for expansion. And you’ll be covering all four edges with 2×4’s anyway, so you won’t see the edge plies. And the plywood can be cut with either a circular saw or table saw.

2) If you want to stick with solid wood, I would put cleats on all the 2×4’s to rest the 1×12 on so it will be flush with the top of the 2×4’s. Use screws to permanently attach the 1×12 to the cleat of the front 2×4 only (screw from the bottom of the cleat – or skip the cleat on the front 2×4 only and use pocket holes as directed). Size the side blocks to give you and extra 1/16” to 1/8” along the back to account for expansion. There will be slight gap along the back edge of the 1×12, but it won’t be obvious to someone standing taller than the top of the table.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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250 posts in 1931 days

#3 posted 10-27-2015 04:19 PM

Oh, and I completely forgot:

Use the figure 8 things for attaching the table top as well.

She also says to permanently attach those planks to the frame as well. Same issues with expansion as the shelves but much easier to mitigate with the figure 8 connectors.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View rwe2156's profile


3161 posts in 1677 days

#4 posted 10-28-2015 12:17 PM

From what I’ve seen of her furniture, and this is also an example, there is a noticeable lack of structure.
For example, I’ve seen skinny aprons on other tables, which is not a good idea.

I would modify the design and incorporate some kind of joinery techniques. Srewing furniture together and using bracing is not what I consider good ww’ing, imho.

A table of this size is subject to racking so first of all, I would use a wider top apron, maybe 5”.
Instead of a flat shelf on the bottom, again, I would use an apron.

I would use mortise and tenon to join aprons to legs. If you don’t have tools/skill for that, then dowels would work. You could even drill them right from the face of the leg, trim flush to accent them. But whatever you do, please don’t screw it together (and that means pocket screws, too;-).

I would omit the xbraces. I suspect reason for them is not design so much as preventing racking because is it screwed together without proper joinery techniques.

Look at it as an opportunity to learn some joinery on a rustic type piece of furniture. Which means you need some chisels, a marking gauge, a tenon saw, sharpening stones…....;-D

One more thing, if you’re using construction grade lumber, you must take into account the moisture content is higher, even if it says kiln dried. This means you can expect shrinkage, so take this into account when you build the top. If you do a glue up, make sure you attach the top in a way to allow for movement (possibly 1/2” or more on a 36” wide top).

Rough cut all your parts over sized, stack with stickers, and leave them for a week or so, and re-mill to allow them to acclimate.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View TTF's profile


154 posts in 3374 days

#5 posted 10-31-2015 03:07 PM

I made this for my wife – it sits on our front porch (covered). It’s made of rough-sawn fir, and it’s not stained or finished in this picture.

It’s a bit more rustic than the Ana White version, but the same idea.

I built it mainly with pocket screws and Tite-bond III glue, so not very much skill required. I choose these since it would be outside. The X pieces are lap-jointed together. The bottom shelf is lag-bolted into the legs. It’s solid.

-- Troy | | The more I see nature, the more I am amazed at the Creator. - Louis Pasteur

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2556 days

#6 posted 10-31-2015 03:44 PM

You could church it up quite a bit with beefier joinery – E.G. mortise/tenon on the apron to leg connection. For something like this though, I think pocket hole joinery/glue will do the job. You will get a longer life span with traditional joinery, and the added benefit of building some additional skills and more shop time ;)

I would pay more attention to grain orientation when you glue up the top and spend the extra calories on getting the top attached correctly – others have mentioned options on that one.

That being said, it’s a cool looking little build that I’ll be adding to the list for the wife for Christmas – thanks for the inspiration!

-- Steve

View nogeel's profile


77 posts in 1266 days

#7 posted 11-02-2015 12:52 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I think I’ll be planning out the build this week and hopefully get the lumber next week. I’ll post a picture when I finish.

-- Jeff, Tennessee

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