Down, But not out, Part 2

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Project by Ajs73 posted 10-08-2014 11:06 PM 1631 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In case you missed my last project.(“Down but not out”) I made my
first end grain cutting board while heeling from a fall off a ladder at work.
(Broken heel bone) Anyway I was trying to figure out something to do or
make with what I had since money is definitely tight now. My 19 year old
daughter just had a baby girl and got her first place of her own and asked
me to help her find some end tables and a coffee table. I told her I had
some cheap wood and would try to make her some. This is what I came
up with. They’re made out of 3/4” poplar I got from work for free. The
coffee table top opens for storing whatever. Not the greatest choice of
wood ( remember it was free ) and she didn’t want them painted. The
finish was a little blotchy but she said it’s the nicest furniture she has. Wish I could buy her all new but times are tough around here. This
is the first real project I’ve done other than shop shelving, workbench,
and cutting boards. (Lots of cutting boards ) I’ve never bought wood
before other than construction lumber so all my projects so far are
made from cabinet filler strips (maple & cherry ) and 1”x4” & 1”x6”
poplar and oak free from work. Also can’t pass up a chance to show off my 8 month old
granddaughter Navaeh (Damn I’m only 42 and feel old) All comment are welcome good or bad & Thanks for looking

-- Andy, NE Ohio

12 comments so far

View Snowbeast's profile


111 posts in 1818 days

#1 posted 10-09-2014 01:41 AM

Nothing wrong with using poplar. I’ve found that the ‘simplest’ woods can show some of the best figure and grain. And ya can’t beat free!!!

Great job on these.

Granddaughter will probably be passing these along to her kids one day.

Nice ‘pugly’ guard hound! Having flashbacks to the ones we had.

View Ajs73's profile


160 posts in 1997 days

#2 posted 10-09-2014 02:18 AM

Thanks for checking out my project. That’s old Missy in the background.
I agree the poplar has some nice grain & color. Black, red,green,orange
and more with only poly finish. I guess there’s some kind of conditioner
I can use pre finish. Might look into that. Only thing I don’t like is the line between boards on the tops but only
had limited boards to work with. I planned on painting when I built them. Thanks again looking & your comments

-- Andy, NE Ohio

View grantd's profile


105 posts in 1962 days

#3 posted 10-09-2014 03:19 AM

I think the set looks great. She will think a lot more of it because you made it instead of just stopping at ikea.

View robscastle's profile


6308 posts in 2684 days

#4 posted 10-09-2014 04:53 AM


They look great,

Your story reminded me of when I bought my first house,we had a milk crate in the lounge for a chair for some time !

Anyway I wanted to see if you had a picture of the hinge you used, (pic No 3) it looks very interesting

-- Regards Rob

View Ajs73's profile


160 posts in 1997 days

#5 posted 10-09-2014 10:15 AM

It’s just cabinet door hinges with built it soft close. Added other soft
closers in the front also

-- Andy, NE Ohio

View Oldtool's profile


2786 posts in 2670 days

#6 posted 10-09-2014 12:35 PM

No sweat the wood choice, beautiful grain and figure here, and the builds are very well done. I’m sure, like Snowbird says, these will be in the family for generations. You’ve made your daughter very happy, and she will cherish these until she places them in her daughter’s possession for safe keeping.
As for your granddaughter, well, your life will now revolve around her. She’s a cutie, and you’ll be spending many an hour in the shop making things for her. Grandchildren are a great joy in life, enjoy her company as much as possible.
Lastly, congrats on the build, job well done.

-- "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 hotncold's profile


787 posts in 2024 days

#7 posted 10-09-2014 03:15 PM

I love working with Poplar and you sure made this Poplar look fantastic!
Nice job!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View tnwood's profile


265 posts in 3566 days

#8 posted 10-09-2014 08:18 PM

Great job. Why buy new? What you have built is better than any off the shelf furniture you are likely to find and besides it is made with love of your family. I think the world would be better off if we quit buying crappy stuff and made do with what we do have. My house is filled with furniture I have built. One of the first tables I built lasted about 30 years but had to be put to rest recently due to poor joinery and some water damage. I kept what could be reused as I will build something else with it sometime. I just recently built a dressing mirror for my late wife from some walnut that I salvaged from a chest I built in high school. The dressing mirror turned out better than the chest and my wife loved it. There is no sin in not being rich. You are rich just by virtue of your efforts for your family.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2954 posts in 2455 days

#9 posted 10-09-2014 10:06 PM

Very nice work.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Ajs73's profile


160 posts in 1997 days

#10 posted 10-10-2014 02:20 AM

Thanks for all the kind words, I’ll keep plugging away.

-- Andy, NE Ohio

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 2130 days

#11 posted 10-13-2014 11:56 AM

Wait… This is your first project other than shelving and cutting boards??? These are beautiful and given the fact this is your first go at furniture building, I’d say remarkable. I really like the way these look – simple clean lines.

I took a class about 6 months ago and built a small table very similar to your end tables. I too used poplar for the legs and aprons. I wasnt nuts about the greenish cast to the wood so the instructor showed me a trick. He had me put the wood out in the sun for a few day. It did the trick! The green changed to almost brown.

Anyway – great build. These are beautiful pieces. I’m certain your daughter will love them and I hope you heal up soon.

View Ajs73's profile


160 posts in 1997 days

#12 posted 10-13-2014 06:56 PM

Thanks for the tip and the kind words. I’ll have to try that
next time. I can pretty much get as much 3/4 poplar as I want
free at work so I’m sure I’ll b using it again. Thanks again and
for looking

-- Andy, NE Ohio

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