Circa 1909 Mission Style Fern Stands

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Project by DaleMaley posted 04-18-2014 12:50 PM 2079 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a book which has reprints of 1909, 1910, and 1912 issues of Popular Mechanics magazine. This book has many Mission Style furniture patterns. I liked the looks of the Fern Table design and decided to make a pair. These will be gifts for family members next Christmas.

I used red oak to make the tables. I also used Behlen’s grain filler on the tops, shelves, and legs to give the super smooth looking finish.

If you would like to see all my trials & tribulations of making these 2 tables, see my web site.

-- Dale, Illinois,

5 comments so far

View isaac42's profile


56 posts in 2731 days

#1 posted 04-18-2014 02:04 PM

Very nice looking. Great web writeup about your building experience.

View DaleMaley's profile


539 posts in 3114 days

#2 posted 04-18-2014 02:54 PM


I have gotten in the habit of taking pictures as I build projects, then posting them to my web site.

If I build a project a 2nd time, it is a great reminder of how I built the first one, plus any Lessons Learned from the 1st project.

-- Dale, Illinois,

View recycle1943's profile


4790 posts in 2501 days

#3 posted 04-18-2014 11:20 PM

Great looking tables and an even better write up. Now if I weren’t so lazy I would make a couple

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View AandCstyle's profile


3287 posts in 3136 days

#4 posted 04-18-2014 11:59 PM

Dale, the tables look great. I have always shied away from this type project because of the cross grain situation. The top will expand and contract between the legs, but the apron/rail holding the legs won’t. Your write up didn’t indicate it, but did you cut a small stopped dado to permit the top to move between the legs?

Also, I have always wanted to fill the grain, but usually get too anxious to finish the project by the time I get to that stage. You have inspired me to fill the grain on my current project. Thank you!

-- Art

View DaleMaley's profile


539 posts in 3114 days

#5 posted 04-19-2014 12:35 AM

I table-sawed a slot in the inner rails, then used steel brackets in the slot, then screwed to the top, as you would normally do a table top.

Had not thought about the table expanding and hitting the corner posts. There is a little clearance between the table top and the 4 corner posts, but not much.

I guess I will find out how it does over the coming years. Thanks for pointing this out, I had not thought about the top or shelf hitting the corner posts. I just copied the original circa 1909 pattern.

-- Dale, Illinois,

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