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Designing some side tables, out of comfort zone, input need please!

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Rorton

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So the wife says she wants some new side tables for the lounge - posted a previous thread to get the colour to match up with an existing mantle.

Im not a furniture person, Ive build some cabinets for the bathroom from pine then painted, and a few other bits for the garage out of necessity, but nothing like this which will be made out of oak

We have some 15 year old tables that were from a b&q or similar, which are covered in some fake leather type material, so I put together a sketch roughly based on their size.

Im aiming to make out of oak, and did think about a drawer in the unit - the unit will be 'side on' as it were, so the shorter length would house the drawer.

The top is 500mmm x 335mm, legs are 410mm high, and top is 22mm thick, the stretchers 30mm deep x 20mm

SideTables1.png


Currently looks rubbish I know, I understand there is an element of having correct proportions to a piece of furniture, so need some help with that.

Do I put some stretchers at the bottom too, and perhaps then lay a shelf on that instead of a drawer (the drawer won't be that wide I guess)

Should I taper the 2 inside faces of the legs, and should the taper start after the stretchers, how much taper should I have. -to I taper 10mm on each face, so the bottom of the legs are 30mm square.

Joinary, im assuming would be best being mortice and tennon - tennons will be simple enough to do on the table saw with the crosscut sled, mortices, not so much. Maybe I could get away with a groove in the leg, starting at the top, and then coming down so far which I could cut with the router, then the tennon could sit in this grove.

I was looking at pocket holes too.

Anyway, this is my next project, so any help appreciated, pics of any ones work for ideas etc :)

Im a power tool guy, absolutely hopeless with a chisel, I guess if a hole was made with a machine, I could open it out, but bear in mind im not really a hand tool person :)
 

TheUnicorn

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I would do a trial run in pine as it doesn't sound like you are that confident, and pine will be cheaper to make mistakes on.

I would be tempted to taper the legs

If making the table is a chore rather than a project that you will enjoy then I'd certainly consider looking what is available to buy premade, or at the very least comparing the cost of premade rather than homemade, as I see it if you are not enjoying it, you should at least be saving money
 

Jameshow

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Hi my cheat on long mortices it to use the buscuit joiner presuming you have one to make two clean groves and chisel out the middle.

Short ones are simply squaring up a hole drilled with a pillar drill.

I recently made a bedside table with simalar proportions.

2" legs tapered to 1"

6in sides 4" would suffice on a table and 3/4" top 16"sq.
IMG-20201115-WA0034.jpeg


Just don't be put off the perfect work on here we all have to start somewhere!!


Cheers James
 

Fitzroy

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The aprons in my mind need to be taller, also at only 30mm high aprons the tenons are going to be max 20mm tall, think you need 10mm more.

The piece looks bulky as everting is square. Tapered legs and a good chamfer on the top will reduce the weight of the piece.

Making a prototype in pine will let you play with taper, edge chamfer, apron height (glue a bit on) until you get a form you like.

My hand tool skills aren’t the best, I made a table with similar joinery and cut tenons on the band saw and table saw. Used the drill press to make mortises and a chisel to square the off. Worked out well.

I also find design the most challenging aspect of furniture so I steal ruthlessly. Look online, go visit John Lewis and take photos and measurements of things you like.

Fitz
 

Rorton

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Thanks, that’s a good call about the pine.
im happy to try and get as much right in sketchup as I can before going to cut the material, my main concern is it all being out of proportion with stretchers/aprons too shallow, legs too thick, top not hanging over enough

don’t see it as a chore, quite looking forward to something different,
 

Rorton

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The aprons in my mind need to be taller, also at only 30mm high aprons the tenons are going to be max 20mm tall, think you need 10mm more.

The piece looks bulky as everting is square. Tapered legs and a good chamfer on the top will reduce the weight of the piece.

Making a prototype in pine will let you play with taper, edge chamfer, apron height (glue a bit on) until you get a form you like.

My hand tool skills aren’t the best, I made a table with similar joinery and cut tenons on the band saw and table saw. Used the drill press to make mortises and a chisel to square the off. Worked out well.

I also find design the most challenging aspect of furniture so I steal ruthlessly. Look online, go visit John Lewis and take photos and measurements of things you like.

Fitz
Thanks, nice table. Ok, so I can increase the size of the aprons, would 50mm be too big?

if I went with a drawer they would be much deeper.

will go for a pine model though, that seems to be a common suggestion. Don’t have a drill press either, so limited to router either hand held or table or table saw. hence the thought about the mortise not having a ’top’ as it were so a slot in the leg for a tenon to sit in, but I guess that the top of the mortise and the tennon being completely surrounded by wood is where the strength is
 

bowmaster

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I have only been woodworking seriously for the last 2 -3 years. I try and steer away from tools like sketchup (although I do use it) because it kind of lures you into rectilinear forms. You have to think about how our predecessors used to make absolutely exquisite furniture and the tools they had to do it. I also shy away from slavishly following what other people are doing. Sure - look at what is going on and what other people are doing (or have done - and there's a lot of it), but you have to take all of what you like from that and mould it into what you want to make.

What really got me into woodworking was watching a programme callled 'The New Yankee Workshop'. From watching that programme I thought power tools were the defacto way of making furniture. I sold my 750cc sportsbike and bought a table saw because I thought I could build pretty much anything in 1/2 hr <lol>

A planer-thicknesser and a bandsaw soon followed.

I bumbled along for a while making non-descript woody things with the equipment I bought - and then I discovered ......... hand tools....... and moulding planes and router planes and all sorts of other equipment that totally transformed my view of woodworking. Now I can't get enough of hand tool working. I do use machinery, but this is primarily to get the stock to 'sawn' size and then use hand tools to get to finished size.

It is well worth investing the time and energy into learning how to use hand tools. They will provide an almost infinite number of possibilities with regards to what you can produce.

Woodworking is not all about straight lines......

Here's an image of an oak hall table I made that has tapered legs and the stretchers between the legs are curved (although you can just see it in the table1.jpg image).....


Let your imagination run free....... machines definitely have their place, but hand tools help to make fine furniture.......

Good luck
Dean
 

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Rorton

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I have only been woodworking seriously for the last 2 -3 years. I try and steer away from tools like sketchup (although I do use it) because it kind of lures you into rectilinear forms. You have to think about how our predecessors used to make absolutely exquisite furniture and the tools they had to do it. I also shy away from slavishly following what other people are doing. Sure - look at what is going on and what other people are doing (or have done - and there's a lot of it), but you have to take all of what you like from that and mould it into what you want to make.

What really got me into woodworking was watching a programme callled 'The New Yankee Workshop'. From watching that programme I thought power tools were the defacto way of making furniture. I sold my 750cc sportsbike and bought a table saw because I thought I could build pretty much anything in 1/2 hr <lol>

A planer-thicknesser and a bandsaw soon followed.

I bumbled along for a while making non-descript woody things with the equipment I bought - and then I discovered ......... hand tools....... and moulding planes and router planes and all sorts of other equipment that totally transformed my view of woodworking. Now I can't get enough of hand tool working. I do use machinery, but this is primarily to get the stock to 'sawn' size and then use hand tools to get to finished size.

It is well worth investing the time and energy into learning how to use hand tools. They will provide an almost infinite number of possibilities with regards to what you can produce.

Woodworking is not all about straight lines......

Here's an image of an oak hall table I made that has tapered legs and the stretchers between the legs are curved (although you can just see it in the table1.jpg image).....


Let your imagination run free....... machines definitely have their place, but hand tools help to make fine furniture.......

Good luck
Dean
Thanks, nice table too.

12 months ago, I was struggling along with a circular saw and a straight edge. Cutting with a handsaw doesn’t bode well for me, no idea why, just no practice I guess, so the table saw has been a revelation to me, as I can get stuff perfectly square and butt joints go together without gaps, so this spurred on my enthusiasm.

im sure in time I’ll get to hand tools when my confidence grows some more, my dad did a lot of woodwork in his spare time and does have a number of tools, so will try and beg and borrow those. Space is a consideration too for storing everything.
I loved the new Yankee Workshop - Remember this, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these: safety glasses. Norm is great
 

Jameshow

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I have only been woodworking seriously for the last 2 -3 years. I try and steer away from tools like sketchup (although I do use it) because it kind of lures you into rectilinear forms. You have to think about how our predecessors used to make absolutely exquisite furniture and the tools they had to do it. I also shy away from slavishly following what other people are doing. Sure - look at what is going on and what other people are doing (or have done - and there's a lot of it), but you have to take all of what you like from that and mould it into what you want to make.

What really got me into woodworking was watching a programme callled 'The New Yankee Workshop'. From watching that programme I thought power tools were the defacto way of making furniture. I sold my 750cc sportsbike and bought a table saw because I thought I could build pretty much anything in 1/2 hr <lol>

A planer-thicknesser and a bandsaw soon followed.

I bumbled along for a while making non-descript woody things with the equipment I bought - and then I discovered ......... hand tools....... and moulding planes and router planes and all sorts of other equipment that totally transformed my view of woodworking. Now I can't get enough of hand tool working. I do use machinery, but this is primarily to get the stock to 'sawn' size and then use hand tools to get to finished size.

It is well worth investing the time and energy into learning how to use hand tools. They will provide an almost infinite number of possibilities with regards to what you can produce.

Woodworking is not all about straight lines......

Here's an image of an oak hall table I made that has tapered legs and the stretchers between the legs are curved (although you can just see it in the table1.jpg image).....


Let your imagination run free....... machines definitely have their place, but hand tools help to make fine furniture.......

Good luck
Dean
Nice oak table definitely one to copy.

Cheers James
 

bowmaster

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Thanks, nice table too.

12 months ago, I was struggling along with a circular saw and a straight edge. Cutting with a handsaw doesn’t bode well for me, no idea why, just no practice I guess, so the table saw has been a revelation to me, as I can get stuff perfectly square and butt joints go together without gaps, so this spurred on my enthusiasm.

im sure in time I’ll get to hand tools when my confidence grows some more, my dad did a lot of woodwork in his spare time and does have a number of tools, so will try and beg and borrow those. Space is a consideration too for storing everything.
I loved the new Yankee Workshop - Remember this, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these: safety glasses. Norm is great
If you or your dad's got a good square, a sharp chisel and a good tenon saw you can start cutting your own mortice and tenons in order to practice. Look at either Learn Woodworking Online With Paul Sellers- Woodworking Masterclasses or www.theenglishwoodworker.com - there is a wealth of information on hand tool woodworking on each site. You don't need a huge number of tools to start hand tool woodworking - although as you get better there is a 'need' to acquire more tools......on that score - resistance is futile.........

Give it a go

Cheers
Dean
 

TJC

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Unless you know what you'll keep in the proposed drawer I suspect it would be too small to be much use, I wouldn't add one myself. I also think you'll find it easier to make a well weighted piece without the drawer, especially as it would open on the shorter side.
 

Rorton

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bit more of a play about

Legs taper in from 40mm thick at the top, to 20mm at the bottom, just a taper on the 2 insides, and the taper starts 100mm from the top Legs also have a 3mm (1/8th inch) round over

Aprons extended, they are now 60mm, and they have a 3mm (1/8th inch) round over on the bottom outside edge (not sure if this should be a 45 chamfer/bevel?)

Top now has a chamfer, there is a section of the top that is 10mm thick, and then from there it tapers in 20mm - need a round over to match the legs around the top of the table and on the 4 corners I guess?

SideTables2.png


SideTables3.png
 

TJC

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For me the top sits a tiny bit too small, either less chamfer or more overhang, but it's basically there....
 

Rorton

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thanks, was trying to get the top looking thin, but agree that its a bit of a wedge instead of elegant. Its a 20mm ish top, so my thought was leave 10mm 'flat or normal' and then start the taper - I could bring the legs in to make the overhang bigger, governed about the space available to make the overhang much bigger with the same footprint
 

Rorton

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Unless you know what you'll keep in the proposed drawer I suspect it would be too small to be much use, I wouldn't add one myself. I also think you'll find it easier to make a well weighted piece without the drawer, especially as it would open on the shorter side.
yep, good idea - also bit ambitious too :) the idea was for remote controls to go in
 

Rorton

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legs moved in to make the overhang bigger...

SideTables4.png


SideTables5.png


the start of the leg taper is now 10 mm from the bottom of the apron to match the 10mm apron reveal
 

Cabinetman

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Everything that’s already been said, except the computer drawing method that you have is throwing everything askew in that the grain is going around the legs instead of up-and-down and it’s throwing your eye out by it’s unnatural form.
It seems very strange to me now, but I suppose you are starting where I did when I was a child with woodwork, I’m sorry this isn’t meant to be disparaging, back then a mortise and tenon joint was an awfully difficult thing that was as slack as a pair of whores drawers.
It really is encouraging that you are prepared to start on this road as an adult, I wish you the very best of luck and please don’t be discouraged by your first efforts with handtools. We, I am sure won’t laugh and will encourage you every step of the way. Ian
Edit, yes no drawer at this point, and the proportions look ok to me.
 

Rorton

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yeah, It may be better without any colour, was just trying to make it look more like a table and less like some lines! I'll keep refining and use the pine test version to have a go at a few joints at little expense (well less that oak anyway!
 

Rorton

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ok, mix of oak and walnut now, as the walnut texture I have has grain going the right way!

SideTables6.png


SideTables7.png


Should the legs go right to the very edge of where the chamfer start for the top, or should they be set back a bit - is 6th revel on the apron to big at 10mm - I chose that as it puts the apron dead in the middle of the leg.

Would 5mm, or even less be better?

This is with a 3mm reveal

SideTables8png.png


For the mortice and tennons - the apron is now 60mm deep and 20mm thick, so should I have a 5mm shoulder front and back, and then a 10 or 15mm shoulder top and bottom? Should it protrude out 10mm/15mm - bit like this...

SideTables9.png
 
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