Side Table-Progress 1

For the handful of you that read this drivel on a regular basis you are probably starting to think that I have developed age-onset ADHD or maybe worse.  First I droned on about nightstands, then a bookcase and now a side table.  Too much time out of the shop but I am now remedying that little problem.  To put the new shop area through its paces I decided to tackle a simple project from the “need” list and that is a side table.  This will be built around the same style and finishing of the end tables that I built last year.  It will be a little lower, a little wider and a little shorter.  Hows that for specifics?  We have two low-setting mid-century chairs in our living room and we need this little table to set between them.  So I took a scrap of wood into the house and marked the desired height and maximum depth on it and went back to the shop.

Using the original proportional layout (below) that I used for the end tables, I worked out a full-size end view for this new side table.


side_table - 1

Essentially a 3:4 layout for the end view and a 1:1 layout for the side view.  Three units wide by four units high with a depth of four units or 15″(w)x14″(H)x18″(D) overall.

A quick look through the wood pile and I realized that I had enough stock lying around to build this entire table.  Granted some of that material will be from lumber that I salvaged from a coffee table that I built years ago and has sentimental value.  So after work on Friday I began dimensioning stock, laying out of joinery and I even managed to chop a few mortises.

Here are the legs marked out and ready for the chopping of the mortises.

side_table - 2

This morning I continued the joinery work and quickly had the end rails fitted to the legs.

side_table - 3

Then the side rails.

side_table - 4

Then the bottom center rail.

side_table - 5

A quick shaping of the legs, slathering on of glue and the assembled base is in the clamps for the night and it’s still daylight outside.

side_table - 6

This next bit will sound like bragging, OK it is a little, but I can’t get over how quickly this went for me.  Less than a full day and I have an assembled table base, albeit a small one.  I do apologize for the lack of “action” photos but I was in a groove and getting used to the new shop space.

Tomorrow I’ll glue up the oak panel for the top and paint the base with a couple of coats of barn red milk paint.

Greg Merritt Part 2


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7 Responses to Side Table-Progress 1

  1. Matt McGrane says:

    Glad your new shop is finally in use. That’s some great use of time. And it doesn’t look “slapped together”either. I’m still very slow at my work, but am getting more comfortable with it. Currently making the Sellers dining chair. I think with time, I’ll speed up and get more projects out.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thanks Matt. Speed is sneaky. It comes when you least expect expect it. Before today I would have estimated at last two full weekends to get this much done. It may just be a fluke, but this project is moving along quite quickly.

  2. Stefan says:

    Hi Greg,
    Nice project well done. I think it’s kind of practise to speed things up. Personally I didn’t repeat projects often enough to become faster. It’s always the first time…

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thanks Stefan. Agreed, repetition plays a roll in speed. I too am usually making a project for the first time so the pace is generally much slower. It is nice to know that I can gain speed when repeating a project though.

  3. Kinderhook88 says:

    I can only speak for myself, but speed for me is usually dependent on environment. I work better when I’m in a comfortable space. I bet you’re feeling confident in your new shop.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      I think the extra room of the new shop has a lot to do with it. The old shop was so small that I was almost always working over or around something. In the new shop I feel much less encumbered.

  4. Pingback: Side Table-Progress 2 | GREG MERRITT – BY MY OWN HANDS

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