Shaker inspired coffee table

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Project by Babieca posted 04-22-2014 12:04 AM 1313 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This shaker inspired coffee table is my first “real” woodworking project. The base is joined with mortises and tenons. The top is plywood with iron-on edge banding. All red oak from our local big box. The finish is Minwax golden oak followed by poly thinned to about 60-40 and wiped on, three coats on the base and nine on the top. In a week or two I’ll rub out the top with wax.

The choice of wood mostly came down to my lack of confidence in my ability to put something decent together. The construction turned out well enough that I wish I had spent the money on maple or cherry. I might paint it (or maybe just the top) so it fits better with our other furniture.

I promised my wife a couple of side tables to match. The local hardwood dealer has s4s domestic lumber, but maybe I can convince her that in the long run it will be cheaper for me to get a planer and jointer from Craigslist. I expect she’ll need a few more successful projects to be convinced.

6 comments so far

View Ted's profile


2877 posts in 3063 days

#1 posted 04-22-2014 12:22 AM

For a firs “real” woodworking project, not bad at all. I’d say you already earned that planer and joiner, time to start shopping around.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View CL810's profile


4058 posts in 3840 days

#2 posted 04-22-2014 12:27 AM

Babieca, it looks nice! How did the assembly go with the finish already applied?

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2396 days

#3 posted 04-22-2014 01:24 AM

I’d say you should be proud of your first effort. Mortise and tenons are the real deal. Now get that planer and jointer!!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Oldtool's profile


3031 posts in 3043 days

#4 posted 04-22-2014 02:18 AM

I’d say you have proven your ability, now you require the tools to expand your craft. Try that one on your wife.
As for it being cheaper to have the tools to mill your purchased lumber, no doubt about it. I only buy rough cut cherry lumber from the saw mills in my area, and the cherry is less expensive than the S4S pine from big box. You can save a lot this way, and make furniture with wood more to your preference.
Good luck on the persuasion discussion.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Babieca's profile


179 posts in 2356 days

#5 posted 04-22-2014 05:07 AM

I’m sure my wife will come around when I tell her that a bunch of guys on the internet think I should drop a couple hundred bucks on more tools.

@CL810 finishing first went well, especially since it is wider than my bench and I don’t have an assembly table. I like to minimize the time I spend crawling around on the floor. Some saw horses and an old door from the ReStore may be in my future.

View B's profile


137 posts in 2339 days

#6 posted 05-01-2014 12:26 AM

A jointer and planer pay for themselves very quickly,but a good table saw is all around more useful.Very nice table

-- A poor workman blames his tools. Mr.B, Ontario Canada -

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