Stickley Side Table

Stickley inspired side table. This was featured in a recent FineWoodworking article: I used white oak for the legs and African mahogany for the top and lower stretchers.

I started with the top. Notice how I angled the pieces on either side of the middle section. Not only, did I use less material doing this, but it also alternated the grain, which some say results in a reduced tendency to warp after the top is removed from the clamps. I used freezer paper to keep glue squeeze out from sticking to my clamping blocks under the C clamps.

I used a circle cutting jig with my bandsaw to get the top perfectly round. A hole was drilled in the bottom side of the top which engages a pin in the jig.

I pre-drilled the mortise slots using a forstner bit. I let the depth stop on the drill press to just allow the center spur to penetrate the bottom side, then flipped the piece over to finish drilling the hole to eliminate any tearout. The fence was adjusted to center the bit in the leg.

The mortise was then completed using a 1/2 inch mortise chisel at the ends, and a bench chisel for the sides. The leg was held securely by my tail vise.

The top stretchers fit into dovetails cut into the top of the legs. Here I clamped scrap pieces of oak to the leg. This helped me keep the pull saw straight when a cut the partial angled side cuts and also insure that I kept my chisels square to the work piece when chopping out the remainder of the waste.

The through tenon cheeks on the bottom stretchers were cut using my home-made tenoning jig, which rides over the top of my table saw fence.

Here are three bases assembled. You can see where I used marine epoxy on the ends of the top stretchers. It filled in any gaps made when I fitted the stretchers to the legs. I used Titebond III on the lower stretchers. I inserted the tensons about 1/3 the way into the mortises before applying any glue, to ensure that the part of the tenon that protruded would not have any glue on it. Not shown in this photo, is the hole I drilled in the top stretchers where they crossed. This was used as an index point along with the hole in the bottom the top to accurately position the top in the center of the base. Four screw holes were drilled an counter sunk in the bottom the of top stretchers as well. One of the holes was elongated to allow for seasonal movement in the top.

Here I am applying the Watco Oil finish to the bases using a small paint brush. Not bad weather for February!

I decided to make the top for the third table different. I used the same Celtic Tree Of Life design as I used on one of my footstools (see I again used my router to remove about 3/32 of material from the top, and then filled in the areas with epoxy colored with transtint dye.

Here is the finished top. This picture was taken in sunlight, so the colors are difficult to distinguish.

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