End Tables Part 1

The current Woodworking Masterclasses series is a sofa table.  The high narrow type that is most typically found placed behind the sofa.  The series is a primer on building tables and is presented in Paul Sellers usual thorough manner.  If you have not taken a look at WWMC, you really should.  Paul Sellers’ instruction methods are top-notch.

Completed Bench Stool

Completed Bench Stool

I don’t need a sofa table but I am in dire need of end tables.  Our sofa sets against a short wall which, when centered, leaves just over 14″ on each end of the sofa for an end table.  To add to my problem the sofa is a little over 3ft deep.  Which has caused me a great deal of frustration when trying to come up with an end table design.  The WWMC series was just enough impetus for me to rectify the issue.  So I altered Paul’s design and created a proportional layout for a simple table.  Paul’s design utilizes a tapered shaker style leg.  I choose to deviate from that and use another design, which I learned from Mr. Sellers and was used on the bench stool, in order to maintain some continuity in my growing collection of furniture.  My end tables will be 2D high, 1D wide and 3D long.  So the end view of the table is 2:1 ratio and the side view will be a 3:2 ratio.

Since I’m frugal (cheap), I chose to use poplar for the legs and pine for the rails.  This portion of the assembly will be finished with milk paint, shellac and wax.  For the top and lower shelf I will be using white oak.  These pieces will be finished with a dark brown transtint dye.  I will then burnish in bees wax with the polissoir.  A burnished bees wax finish may not be the most durable option but It will be easily repaired if the need arises and fits with my non toxic finish policy.

end_table_legsMy shop time has been limited as of late but I completed the full-scale layout of  my end table.  Then I four squared the eight leg blanks and chopped all of the required mortises.  I also have managed to shape all eight legs.  They will need some further refining, but I will hold off on that until I’m ready to glue up the base assemblies.  As soon as time permits I will prepare all of the rails and cut all of the corresponding tenons.  I will also have to prepare quite a few turn buttons and chop the mortises for installing them.  Then the tops and shelves will need to be completed.  There is quite a bit of work yet to do.

side_table_000_sht1of2

side_table_000_sht2of2

Greg Merritt

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4 Responses to End Tables Part 1

  1. Why does poplar get such a bad rap for being a cheap wood? I like poplar a lot. I like it’s color, texture, and it’s workability. And if it’s painted, who’s going to know unless you tell them? I have 3 bookcases and a desk storage unit made of poplar in my living room. Poplar and pine are my two favorite woods to work and make things out of.

    • gman3555 says:

      I did not intend to malign the materials with my statement of frugality. Poplar and pine are my most used woods as well. They are perfectly fine for furniture. My point was meant to convey that I see no reason to construct my tables entirely from an expensive hard wood. I’m frugal (cheap) not the materials I chose to use.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Greg, is your bench stool from Paul’s WWMC as well? Nicely done!

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