Hallway Table Build
I haven't posted a build along project in some time.  Thought you might enjoy seeing another project come together.  A lady I've built quite a few pieces for asked me to build her a hallway table for her front entrance.  Simple, clean lines, two drawers in the front.  Shaker immediately came to mind, but most all her furniture is pretty modern, and gray, so classic Shaker wasn't exactly right.  This is what I drew up.  
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Legs tapered on two sides, the top beveled underneath to lighten the look, and the drawers running completely across the front with no visible frame.  Not shown, but very much part of the build, was to incorporate leveling feet because the contractor who did about a million $'s in renovations to her house didn't get the floors level, anywhere.  I'm talking more than a little, like an inch over 6 feet in some places.  But I digress.  Just leave it say leveling feet are needed.  She has a grandkid that's a terror beating up her furniture, so we decided on rift sawn white oak.  I told her Rubio Monocoat might be a good choice for the finish since it's so easy to repair.  She wanted the same gray color as the rest of the furniture, and RM comes in lots of colors, so I said I'd make a sample for her approval.  I'm not wild, even mildly, about coloring white oak gray, but it's her furniture and she is paying me, so give the lady what she wants. 

I found what I thought would be just enough rift sawn white oak in my shed that I had milled with a chainsaw about 10 years ago.  I used the three nicest boards to glue up the top and set it aside.  

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Next I started on the legs by getting them squared.  I had hoped to make them 1-1/2" at the top, but the board I had ended up giving me 1-3/8, so that's what they are.  Beautiful rift sawn wood, though.  I laid out the sides that needed to be tapered, so I wouldn't hose it up cutting them.  They will be just over 3/4" at the bottom.  

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The simplest and stupid proof taper jig I've ever seen is this one.  

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It's nothing more than a piece of scrap plywood with parallel edges.  You screw a stop on the end and then tack or glue a spacer in the corner that is equal to the taper you need.  You put the workpiece against the stop and side of the plywood and set the rip fence so the blade hits the workpiece where you want the taper to start, or a little shy of that to allow for cleanup.  Then just run it through the saw.  The forces naturally push the workpiece against the stop so there's no fighting to hold it in place.  After one face was cut, I just rotated the leg to cut the other face.  

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After all the tapers were cut I cleaned them up with a single pass on the jointer.  

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With the tapers done I laid out and cut the mortises for the stretchers on the sides and back, and cut them with my horizontal router mortiser.  

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Fast, simple, accurate.  Unless you have a Domino, or really like drilling and chopping by hand, you should have one of these.  

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Next I sized the stretchers on my faithful old Dewalt RAS.  

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Then I cut the mating mortises in the ends of those parts.  Sometimes, a little support is needed on long parts, so I just add a roller stand.  

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With all the mortises cut I made some loose tenons. 

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After cutting them to length I adjusted the fit, as needed, for a nice smooth fit in the mortises.  

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I glued up the legs and end stretchers, but not the back stretcher just yet.  Before doing that I made the two web frames that will house the drawers.  Here are all the parts for one of them, ready to glue up.  The front stretcher is white oak; the other parts are ash.  

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After they were made, I glued the back stretcher of the table in place using the frames to keep things square. 

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Then I made the short stretchers between the two web frames, again using mortises and loose tenons.  

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The cross rails will be where the drawer slides get screwed to.  They are attached to the stiles with loose tenons, glued only in the front, the rear ones are left unglued just in case there is any movement.  For the same reason, the web frames are cut with room for expansion front to back.  

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All glued up.

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More to follow.  

Sounds like a great project. Images aren't coming through though. NOt sure if that's on my end or yours.

(06-21-2022, 03:49 PM)Kmucha16 Wrote: Sounds like a great project. Images aren't coming through though. NOt sure if that's on my end or yours.


My bad.  You should be able to see the photos now.  Thanks.

Looking good John! Used your mortiser for a project this past week - sweet; simple and easy.

White oak, rift and quartersawn is my material of choice. Following along.

After the glue was dry, I installed the drawer unit in the table, using glue and pocket screws.  I'm not a purist.  

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With the body of the table complete, I set about to make the drawers.  I used some of my precious remaining stock of Baltic birch.  With BB ply I like to use 1/2" finger joints and I cut them on my router table using an original Incra jig.  What I like most about it is you can gang a bunch of parts together and cut them all at once.  I use a backer board on the front and back to reduce tearout.  

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With only two drawers to make it went quickly.  I used a piece of 1/4" plywood for the bottoms, set in a dado according to the instructions for the soft close slides I'm using.  Then I glued them up.  

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There is the typical cutout and locator hole for soft closer slides on the back of the drawer.  I cut them on my TS.  

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The slides are screwed into the drawer box and then the drawers just slide in place.  Pretty simple stuff, as long as you make the drawer box the correct size.  These are KV slides, since they were the only 9" ones I could find in undermount, soft close, and the directions were very easy to follow although a couple of dimensions you still had to ferret out.  

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The only thing left now is the top and drawer fronts.  After I cut the top to width, I cleaned up the sawn edge with a hand plane.  I don't know about you, but I can't maintain a 90 deg angle with a hand plane, so I made a fence guide for my #6 to make it easy to do. 

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It's just two pieces of 1/2" UHMW plastic screwed together and held to the plane with screws into holes I drilled and tapped in it.  

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I used my TS to cut the bevel on the underside of the table top.  I wanted the bevel to be about 1-1/8" and that turned out to be a 20 deg angle.  I put a taller fence on the rip fence to help steady the top, and a feather board at the bottom to hold it in place.  

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It was a little hairy holding the top up on the ends, but not as bad as I thought it might be.  Any longer, however, and it wouldn't have fit under the floor joists.  We cellar dwellers have limitations others don't.  There were a few burn marks on the ends.  

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But they cleaned up really easily with a #4-1/2 low angle LV plane my friend gave me.  

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Nearly done.  Thanks for following along.  

That is a great looking table so far.

I'm with you on the 90 degree plane thing. I just can't seem to get there.  You're fence option looks pretty great.
Great work on the build along! Always apperciate seeing your excellent craftsmanship and instructional posts.

I've only had one...in dog beers.

"You can see the stars and still not see the light"
The Eagles: Already Gone
You might have wondered if I ever finished the table.  Why yes, I did, but the lady I built it for went on a cruise and then got Covid, so I didn't deliver it until today.  

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I hated making it gray but I have to admit it looks at home in that spot.  It's a custom mixed Minwax WB stain that I had for another project buy never used, with GF Enduro Clear Poly satin topcoat.  

If you look closely you will see the leveling feet under the left legs.  I installed them in all four legs of course, but the floor drops off so badly to the left that the only way I could get it level was to remove the feet on the right side.  That floor drops over 1" in four feet!  

Thank you John, for the update.
Your build-a-longs are great.
I am some-what of a fan of gray, but I was hoping to see more of the white oak grain.

Unlevel floors!!!!!!!!!!  Where we live, ground movement is constant.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
Thanks for sharing the project. Since the table was to be grey, why use your white oak? Wouldn’t any cheaper species have been okay?

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