This End Table was modified from the plans found in Woodsmith No. 110 to fit in a specific location in Eunice’s living room. The width was the main consideration. I reduced the depth of the piece to conform with the golden ratio. Top and shelf slats are made of Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba), drawer front from Walnut, and frame from Red Oak.
I started with the top, since it was the component that was driving the piece. I had to content with some twisting in the stock, so I first used my jack plane to level the offending faces enough to allow use of the planer. I used 5/4 stock left over from the top of Katie’s Cedar Chest. I ended up with a 11/16 thick top.
After the glue setup over night, I put a radius on the corners and used mineral spirits to check for glue squeeze out and surface imperfections. As you can see, the top has some convoluted grain going on. A word to the wise, when crosscutting a board with convoluted grain on the table saw beware of releasing internal tension. Thank goodness for the riving knife on my SawStop. I had to re-start the cut three times as the internal grain tension closed up the saw kerf and clamped down on the blade and riving knife.
The legs mortises are the most critical part of the joinery. I laid out the leg mortises in pairs to ensure precise alignment. Stop blocks were used when cutting the legs to length to make sure that they were exactly the same length. I spent some time considering the orientation of the leg faces, as I wanted to show off the ray patterns in the quarter sawn legs to the front of the piece.
I used the drill press to remove most of the mortise waste, then a 1/4 inch mortising chisel to square up the ends. I used a bench chisel to remove the waste between the drilled holes.
I used the router table and a straight bit to clean up the mortises. The tape on the router fence shows the position of the both edges of the bit. This was used to register with the pencil marks on the stock which marked the ends of the mortise.
The legs are the most interesting components of the piece. The inside lower faces have tapers cut on the three sides. A taper jig was used on the table saw to cut the two main tapers, and the third taper between them was cut with a block plane to the layout lines.
Next the front corner of the leg was rounded over on the router table, and a bevel was cut on each side of the roundover to give them their distinctive shape. The leg bevel was sized to leave a 1/4 inch reveal on the side and back aprons and the front of the drawer.
Now the tenon shoulders were cut on the stretchers and aprons on the table saw. The tenon waste was removed with a tenon jig that fits over the fence. A chisel was used to remove a little more material from the bottom of the tenon shoulder to provide a place for glue squeeze out and to ensure a tight fit against the leg.
Now the sides of the frame were glued up. Notice the special clamping cauls that were used to accommodate the bevel on the legs. This kept the legs from twisting under the clamping pressure.
Now a dry fit was performed to ensure proper sizing of the cross member tenons. The mortises on both faces of the legs actually meet in the center of the leg, so the ends of the tenons had to be mitered to allow them to fit together. Also notice the shelf slats. They are inserted into groves in the bottom stretchers without glue to accommodate seasonal wood movement. Also notice the grooves in the side aprons, they provide the means to capture the tenons in the drawer frame and rails.
Now the two sides were glued together with the rear apron, bottom center stretchers and front drawer frame.
Watco Fruitwood danish oil was applied as the finish to the frame. Two coats of brush on polyurethane were applied to the top, followed by two coats of wipe-on polyurethane.
Now just the drawer was left. A 8/4 piece of walnut adjacent to a large knot was selected for the drawer front. A batten was bent to provide a template for a curved drawer front. Rabbets were cut into the back vertical sides of the drawer front to allow the drawer sides to be attached. The height of the rear of the drawer was constructed to allow close contact with upper drawer guides set into the side aprons, so the drawer would not tip as it is retracted from the carcase.
Here is the completed drawer. Rear is the same height as the front so it won’t tip as it is slid out.
Here is a second wider table I made for Eunice. This time I used Bloodwood instead of Brazilian Cherry. It was easier to find and had a slightly darker red color.