Mission Inspired Couch Table #1: Starting my first 'big' project...

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Blog entry by itsme_timd posted 01-22-2008 07:09 PM 1183 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I love Mission style furniture and am working on my first piece, a couch table that will be used as an aquarium stand. I’m trying to take my time with this one, it gets worked on a little at a time in between some of my smaller projects.

The table is red oak from HD. I don’t have a planer yet so I needed to buy lumber that was close to size and fairly finished. I want to try somethung in quarter sawn white oak next.

I just finished one side of the table and wanted to post a pic of it.

It’s not flawless, for sure. My inexperience and impatience with the card scraper caused a large scratch on the top and I wish I’d match the grain in the legs better. This pic is of the side that will be inside the table so the flaws won’t be quite as visible.

What I’ve learned so far from this project:
- How to hand cut tenons with a saw and chisel. I enjoyed this a lot, I take greater satisfaction out of the work I do with hand tools.
- How to use a router table to cut mortises. Fit my hand cut tenons like a glove…
- Refresher in basic math and fractions. :-) Spacing those spindles can be tricky!

What’s next on the list
- Laying out a large arc for the cornices.
- Making a template to cut the 4 cornices.
- Cutting curves with a band saw.

More to come…

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

6 comments so far

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 4908 days

#1 posted 01-22-2008 08:58 PM

Looks like you’re well on your way on this.
I too am (somewhat) overly fond of the
Mission styles. I’ve built a few smaller pieces
using rift and plain-sawn oak before, and it just
doesn’t do the design justice. Those ray fleck
patterns are a must.

Equally spacing the spindles equally, and so they
are pleasing to the eye can be tricky.

Great so far, and am looking forward to some follow-ups.

-- Still learning everything

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4928 days

#2 posted 01-22-2008 09:05 PM

That is a very good start. Keep the project moving, get ‘er done, then start another.

If you can get your better half to request a project you get to get a new tool. That is a LumberJock rule, it seems.

View lance's profile


170 posts in 5041 days

#3 posted 01-22-2008 09:44 PM

You have my attention. It looks great and I’m looking forward to following your progress.

-- Bob Lance, DE

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5041 days

#4 posted 01-22-2008 10:06 PM

Looks like a great learning project you got going there.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4849 days

#5 posted 01-23-2008 03:34 AM

Nice start. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished piece a great deal!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5143 days

#6 posted 01-23-2008 03:46 AM

Lookin good.

On fraction layout. My advice: Don’t do it. Use a spacer block if possible. Don’t measure if you don’t need to. Works great for odd numbered pieces. Mark the middle and use the spacer to layout the rest going outward.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

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