Craftsman Table

A simple design with no-nonsense mortise and tenon joinery makes this table an irresistible project.

You say you've never tried to cut a mortise and tenon joint before? Well this attractive Craftsman-style table might be a great place to start.

Like most Craftsman-style pieces, this table sticks to the basics. It's mostly just straight lines and straightforward joinery. Mortise and tenon joinery is one of the cornerstones of woodworking. And once you get a good feel for it, you're well on your way to building this classic little table.

Let's break it down for a quick look at what's going on. You start with four square legs and then join the upper and lower rails with "mitered-end" mortise and tenon joints. Next, you add some vertical slats on three sides. They're joined to the rails with a shallow mortise and tenon. And then to top it off, you build a mortise and tenon frame into which is set a ceramic tile panel. You get the picture?

The best news is that the joinery here isn't the least bit difficult. Whether you decide to cut your mortises by hand, the way I like to do it, or maybe invest in a mortiser like those discussed on page 14, you'll get some good practice with a great end result.

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