I had a design vision for a small side table and finally was able to build it over the weekend. The best part was that I used wood from my scrap pile.
I knew I wanted the top to be butternut, as I had a piece that was glued up and perfect for my design. The butternut had just the look I was going for. I wanted the base to be a contrasting wood. When I picked out the mahogany, I didn’t know I was going to dye it black. The pieces of mahogany were all from the same project and milled to the same thickness. It was just the right amount and size to make the base. Once I gathered my parts and came up with the table dimensions, it took me 3 hours to build the table.
I finish milled and cut all the base parts to dimension. Next, I cut the mortises and tenons for the base. Before the table base would go together, I needed to notch the stretchers. I did this lap joint (notch) on the table saw using my miter gauge and dado set. I took small cuts, so I could get a perfect fit with no gaps. Then I put the base together and figured out the angle I designed for the legs. I wanted the legs to taper into the stretchers. I made that cut next. I left the angle heavy, so I could hand plane the legs. This allowed me to remove the saw marks, while getting the taper to flow right into the stretchers.
After I had the base assembled, I made a fixture for the bandsaw to cut the top into a circle. After it was cut into a rough circle, I faired the top with a file. By fairing the top, I get a smooth edge with no bumps. Once the top was faired and smoothed, I beveled the edge using my router. This really lightened up the look of the table.
It was really gratifying to see the table come together in such a small amount of time. The sanding and finishing took about twice as long, but it was well worth. I decided to make the base black to highlight some of the dark details in the butternut. I am really happy with the result.
I am going to be raiding my scrap pile again to see if I have pieces for another small table. I think I know just the pieces I want to use.
Adding details to Built-ins
Reclaimed Wood Bench
I was given a piece of very thick wood from friends that looked like it was part of a house or barn at some point in its life. I had the reclaimed wood for about a year before coming up with a piece to make with it. I decided to mill the board for the top of a bench. I quickly realized the wood was not wide enough for the bench seat. I decided to rip the wood down its length and leave a slight space between the 2 pieces. The problem was it totally changed the look of the piece. You really couldn’t tell that the 2 pieces were from the same board. I thought about scraping the whole bench. Then I remembered my friends had given me another piece. I milled up the second board but it was fir and not pine like the first board. Since I had already ripped the first board into 2 pieces I decided to put the fir between the pine and really liked the new look. I epoxied the pieces together. I finally achieved the look I was going for after I distressed the milled wood with some old keys. The final piece is reclaimed fir and pine top with solid maple base painted navy blue.