End Table

The clean lines and basic construction are reminiscent of traditional furniture. But the unusual shape of the legs give this table a modem feel.

t apered or turned, straight or curved, the legs are the first thing I look at when checking out a table. That's why I like this project. The shape of the legs on this end table are a little out of the ordinary. They make you stop and scratch your head for a minute while you figure out just how they were made.

But the real beauty of this project is that despite the unusual design of the legs, their construction isn't complicated. In fact, they start off as square blanks. Then it's just a matter of following a few simple steps. And you'll find that building the rest of the table is also straightforward.

STORAGE. A lot of end tables are just that — a table and nothing else. But this table has a couple places for storage, which makes it useful as a night-stand as well as an end table.

First, there's a drawer underneath the top — perfect for any items that you want to keep nearby but don't necessarily want sitting out in the open. (I like to keep my reading glasses hidden inside.)

And below the drawer, there's a shelf (so you won't have an excuse for leaving books or magazines lying around on top of the table).

JOINERY. While I'm on the subject of the shelf, I should point out the joiner y. The shelf is made up of slats that are joined to shelf rails. At first glance, it appears the slats are individually mortised into the rails.

In reality, the slats fit into a groove thafs cut on the shelf rails. Small spacer plugs are glued into the grooves in between each slat to create the "mortises" for each slat.

The rest of the joinery is fairly traditional. The base of the table is con-


■Mm ami m structed with mortise and tenon joints. And the drawer front features half-blind dovetails. (We used a router and a dovetail jig to cut these.)

CONTRASTING WOODS. Probably the most difficult decision will be figuring out what kind of wood to use. We selected hard maple for the legs, aprons, and shelf of the table. Then to provide a warm contrast, we chose cherry for the top. Finally, we added a simple cherry knob to the drawer to tie it all together.

The legs on this table actually start off as square blanks. Then they're tapered, beveled, and rounded to a "diamond" shape.

V4" plywood bottom

ÊkMk Mk ^P K S Jfà S Ä! fsl^ml SliIMiiw

A Legs (4)

1% x 1V8 - 23I/4

B Aprons (3)

3A x 57/8 x 14I/4

C Shelf Rails (4)

3/4X1- 141/4

D Drawer Rails (2)

3/4x2 - 14

E Shelf Slats (5)

3/sx2 - 133/4

F Drawer Runners (4)

3/4 X m - 11

G Drawer Guides (2)

%2 X 3/4 - 1 3

H Face Rails (2)

3/4 X% - 13

1 Drawer Front (1)

3/4X43/8- 1215/16

J Drawer Back (1)

V2 X 43/8 - 1 27/l6

K Drawer Sides (2)

Vi x 43/8 - 13

L Drawer Bottom (1)

1/4 ply. - 1 27/l6 X 12%

M Drawer Stop (1)

3/4X1/2* - 1 215/l6

N Top(1)


* Actual width will be determined by drawer size

■¿¡P41 H 8 IPife SSffih BS tt V j^s %11 iyP Bp If 1 & ¿¡P W Is & B Hi

• (1) 11/s"-dia. Cherry Knob w/screw

• (4) Figure-8 Tabletop Fasteners

• (8) #8 x 5/s" Fh woodscrews

• (1) Flush-mount Panel Retainer w/screw


1 X4"-48" Maple (2.7Bd. Ft.)



NOTE: Edge glue boards to make top

NOTE: Edge glue boards to make top

Also needed: 24"x 48" sheet of V4" plywood

Also needed: 24"x 48" sheet of V4" plywood

Woodworking Joints And Diagrams


Dctdils note: Fasteners are

M-jr ^Ks mortised into top.


#8x5/s" Fh woodscrew


cherry knob

NOTE: Plugs fit in groove between slats

19"Wx 24"H x 19"D

Panel retainer

Machine-cut half-blind dovetails





V4" plywood bottom

When I build a table, I almost always work from the ground up, starting with the legs. And this end table is no exception to the rule.

LEGS. Despite their finished appearance, the legs (A) actually start off as four l5/8" square blanks cut to finished length (231/4"). But before beginning to shape the legs, I laid out the mortises that join them to the other pieces of the table. This way, the mortises can be drilled and chiseled out while the legs are still square.

Laying out the mortises requires some attention to detail. The back legs each have two pairs of mortises, one near the bottom for the shelf rails and one at the top for the aprons.

The front legs also have a pair of mortises for the shelf rails. However, each front leg has only a single mortise at the top for a side apron, see drawing and detail 'b'. (There's no apron at the front of the table.)

One other thing to note when you're making the mortises. Because of their depth and position on adjacent sides of the leg, the mortises actually intersect, see detail V.

TAPERS. Making the mortises is only half the task. The next step is to cut the tapers and shape the legs.

If you look closely, you'll notice there are three tapers at the bottom


of each leg — two on the inside faces and a third taper right in the center of these two, see detail 'a'. I started by cutting the side tapers using a jig and a table saw, see Figs. 1 and la. (For more on the jig, see page 26.)

For cutting the narrow center tapers, I used a different approach. I simply planed the tapers by hand, using my block plane, see Fig. 2.

SHAPING THE LEGS. At this point, the legs still look pretty squarish. But

NOTE: Front legs have only one apron mortise b.

Left back leg Right back leg

Left back leg Right back leg

"/re" deep

Left front leg Right front leg

"/re" deep

Left front leg Right front leg here is where they really start to take shape. First, I rounded over the front corner of each leg on a router table, see Fig. 3. Then to give the legs their distinct shape, I ripped a bevel on each side, see Fig. 4. (For more on this, see Shop Notes on page 19.)

APRONS & SHELF RAILS. The legs are connected by aprons (B) and shelf rails (C). Since all these pieces have similar tenons on the ends, I made them all at the same time. This way, I can

NOTE: All tapers and mortises are made on inside faces of leg

Lurem 210 Manual

Cut side tapers /ith jig, see pg. 26.

NOTE: Tapers and mortises are on inside

Cut side tapers /ith jig, see pg. 26.

NOTE: Tapers and mortises are on inside

Table Saw Finger Joints

Plane center taper down to layout lines

Expansion Joint Long Run Finger


of each leg of each leg


Plane center taper down to layout lines

NOTE: Tilt blade away from fence. _^

NOTE: Tilt blade away from fence. _^

cut all the tenons at once without having to duplicate my saw setup, see drawing at right and detail 'a'.

To maximize the gluing surface of the tenons, I made them 5/8M-long. But this creates a small problem. Because of their length and position, the tenons run into each other. To correct this, I just mitered the ends, see detail 'b'.

There are a couple more steps to complete the aprons and shelf rails. First, a pair of grooves is cut in the two side aprons to hold some of the drawer support pieces that are added later, see detail 'a'. Then I rounded over the bottom outside edge of all the aprons.

The shelf rails get a similar treatment. The two side shelf rails are grooved — but this groove is to hold some shelf slats, see detail 'a'. And roundovers are routed on all the edges of the shelf rails.

SIDE ASSEMBLY. At this point, I decided to go ahead and assemble the two sides of the table, see drawing. This makes it a little easier when it comes time to assemble the rest of the table. (For more on gluing up the sides, see Shop Notes on page 18.)

DRAWER RAILS & SHELF SLATS. While the two table sides were drying, I began work on the drawer rails and shelf slats. I started by cutting a couple of drawer rails (D) out of 3/4"-thick stock. Then I cut rabbets on the ends of these pieces to create tongues that fit in the grooves of the side aprons,

Table Side Apron Joint

NOTE: Miter ends of tenons to fit in mortises



Cut grooves on side aprons only


Cut grooves on side aprons only

NOTE: Miter ends of tenons to fit in mortises





i wT


NOTE: Center y ._J groove on width round-of shelf rail



see detail 'a' below.

The shelf slats (E) are cut from 3/8M-thick stock. And like the drawer rails, the ends of the shelf slats are also rabbetted — but this time to fit in the grooves in the shelf rails, see detail 'b' below. Then to complete the slats, simply round over the top edges.

Since the shelf slats are held in the shelf rail grooves without any glue, I needed a way to keep them evenly spaced. So, I glued small wooden plugs into the grooves to act as spacers, see detail 'c'.

Finally, the side assemblies can be glued together, sandwiching the back apron, shelf rails, drawer rails, and shelf slats in between, see drawing.

NOTE: Cut grooves on side shelf rails only

NOTE: Cut grooves on side shelf rails only

Shelf Joints

Side ft' assembly




Side assembly


NOTE: Do not glue shelf slats into rails


56" round-over on top edges

Dry fit slats in groove to determine .. plug size.


NOTE: Glue side assemblies together first






Glue face rails to front of drawer rails

Round Drawer Joints


Glue face rails to front of drawer rails






With the base of the end table complete, the next step is to add a drawer.

RUNNERS & GUIDES. But before building the drawer, I decided to make some drawer runners and drawer guides.

I started by making four identical drawer runners (F), see drawing above and detail 'b'. These are glued into the grooves in the side aprons. Technically, only two of these pieces are runners (the two on the bottom). The other two keep the drawer from tilting up as it's pulled open.

To keep the drawer from shifting from side to side within the opening, I added a couple of drawer guides (G), see drawing. These guides are really just fillers that are glued to the side aprons just above the lower draw er runners, see detail 'b'.

FACE RAILS. Then to create the drawer opening, I added a pair of face rails (H) to the front of the drawer rails, see drawing and detail 'c\ These two pieces are identical with the exception of one small detail—the bottom piece has an Vs" roundover routed on the bottom, outside edge.

DRAWER. With the face rails added, the next step is to make the drawer. There aren't any surprises here. The drawer front (I) is cut from W-thick stock, while V^'-thick stock is used for the drawer back (J) and two drawer sides (K). Half-blind dovetails join the sides to the front, and rabbet joints are used at the back of drawer, see details 'a' and 'b'.

After cutting grooves on the inside faces of the drawer pieces, a drawer bottom (L) can be cut out of Vi" plywood, see drawing. Then the drawer can be assembled.

To complete the drawer, I routed Vs" roundovers on the outside edges of the drawer front and added a lVs"-dia. cherry knob. Finally, I added a plastic panel retainer to the back of the drawer to prevent accidentally pulling the drawer all the way out of the opening, see drawing.

DRAWER STOP. There's one more step before the drawer can be placed in the table. Most drawers fit flush with the frontoftheir opening. Butthis table is designed so the drawer actually projects Vs" beyond the face rails, see roundover on front edges




1Vs"-dia. cherry knob

Flush-mount 127/k" . panel retainer




Flush-mount 127/k" . panel retainer

Mdf Joining Methods

roundover on front edges

1Vs"-dia. cherry knob








W v


i=f 1

! T




® r




detail 'b' at right. To create this projection, I added a drawer stop (M).

To determine the width of the drawer stop, just place the drawer in the opening so it sticks out Vs". Then measure the distance between the back apron and the back of the drawer. After cutting the drawer stop to size, it's just glued in place against the back apron, see detail 'a' at right.

TOP. Now all that's needed to complete the table is to add a top (N). To do this I started by gluing up an oversize blank out of W-thick cherry stock, see drawing at right.

After cutting the blank to size, I cut a 60° bevel on the underside of all the edges of the top. (Note: I attached a tall auxiliary fence to my rip fence for extra support, see Fig. 5.)

Next, to soften the sharp edges of the top, I rounded over the top edges with a router and a W roundover bit, see Fig. 6.

The top is attached to the table with figure-eight fasteners. Normally, these fasteners are mortised into the aprons of a table and then attached to the top from the underside, inside the aprons. But the problem with this type of arrangement is the overhanging edges of the top can often cup upward as the humidity changes, since they aren't fastened down.

To help prevent this, I mortised the fasteners into the top instead. This way, I was able to position them closer to the outside edge of the top. (This helps to draw the top down flat.) And the shallow mortises help keep the fasteners hidden from view.

Mortising the fasteners into the top is simple. Just start by attaching the fasteners to the table aprons, see Fig. 7. Next, position the top on the table and trace the outline of the fasteners on the underside of the top.

Now just remove the top and drill two overlapping holes to create a mortise for each fastener, see Fig. 8.ES

Table Top Fasteners Wood


Table Joints

Measure and cut to fit



Drawer j




• j



Measure and cut to fit

Wood Intarsia Patterns Crosses

NOTE: Round over end grain fii

V4" round-over bit


Trace outline of fasteners on underside of top

Drill overlapping holes to create shallow mortise for fastener

7 "-of/a. Forstner bit

Finger Joint Bit

Drill overlapping holes to create shallow mortise for fastener

7 "-of/a. Forstner bit

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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