Shaker table in cherry, Galoot style

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Project by Texasgaloot posted 10-30-2008 04:01 AM 2846 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I offer for submission a Shaker-style table (nightstand) that I completed 6 or 7 years ago, and only now borrowed the camera to take photos of. Oh well.

This table was made out of Texas cherry (I don’t know that it’s different from anywhere else, just bigger, I suppose.) The cherry does have some pretty wild grain. This was my first attempt to complete a project exclusively using hand tools, and I failed in that I couldn’t figure out how to make a consistent taper on the legs, so I made a taper jig for my table saw. It seems so easy to do that now…

This was also my first attempt at hand-cut blind dovetails, which turned out okay. I bruised the edges assembling the drawer (sheesh), but nothing has fallen apart so far. The mortises and tenons turned out well, however.

You’ll note that the top sports some racy breadboard ends and has what looks like blotching in the picture. I don’t know why the photo came out that way—it doesn’t appear blotchy at when you look at it. You will note that the knob doesn’t appear to fit the piece, and that’s because it’s one of the inexpensive big box jobs. I wasn’t able to turn anything at the time. I still can’t, until I get my treadle lathe finished.

The table was finished with one coat of boiled linseed oil which was allowed to dry for at least a week (near as I remember) and then two or three coats of polyurinate. No stains—the rich color comes from the combo of BLO and patina.

I know that this is not one of your uber-fashionable mission-style-asian-influenced Woodsmith projects. I continue to be drawn to the restrained simplicity and functional beauty of the Shakers. I’m looking forward to taking my wife to Pleasant Hill while we are in Berea, as a matter of fact. I have another one of these tables I started for my dad, and still have yet to complete. I need to do that before I’m too old to hold a chisel.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

18 comments so far

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 4472 days

#1 posted 10-30-2008 04:12 AM

wow man i love that grain on the face of the drawer and how you matched it to the rest of the face. excellent!


-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 4208 days

#2 posted 10-30-2008 04:22 AM

Thanks, Isaac. I forgot until you mentioned it that the entire apron and drawer front were made from one board which sort of wraps around the whole piece. I also forgot to mention that the drawer is made from poplar. Just don’t look under the apron…

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View TexPenn's profile


459 posts in 4195 days

#3 posted 10-30-2008 04:27 AM

Looks great! My wife says it looks like something that you would buy in a furniture store, .... That is to say its really well done.

-- Ted, TX or PA

View lew's profile


12859 posts in 4263 days

#4 posted 10-30-2008 04:35 AM

I think you have captured the simplicity, beauty and spirit of Shaker furniture! In my opinion there is nothing more elegant.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Gregh11's profile


17 posts in 4033 days

#5 posted 10-30-2008 04:41 AM

Wow, that’s really nice! That’s funny, TX cherry is bigger! lol

-- Greg, in Ozark, MO

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4098 days

#6 posted 10-30-2008 09:06 AM

Very nice table. I like the drawer front and the knob.
All are great.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4726 days

#7 posted 10-30-2008 03:16 PM

Very clean and classic. Great job!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4230 days

#8 posted 10-30-2008 06:02 PM

Very nice table and pretty wood! I like how you matched the facing with the drawer face. Excellent job. You are making me drool on the figured Texas Cherry.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 4298 days

#9 posted 10-30-2008 06:37 PM

Great Galoot!!

I like the clean lines of shaker myself and have some. Nice job of thinking to have the front match, it adds a nice touch. I also like the color. Keep up the good work. ; – )

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4252 days

#10 posted 10-30-2008 07:08 PM

Handsome table. Nice lines. I’ll have to check with Gary over in Llano, to see if he carries any Texas cherry.
Thanks for the post.

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 4208 days

#11 posted 10-30-2008 08:32 PM

Tim, if you find out he does, let me know!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4908 days

#12 posted 10-30-2008 09:39 PM

Tex: I like the Texas sized dovetails also.

Very nice piece. The patina is really starting to show. Very nice.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Brent Livingwell's profile

Brent Livingwell

75 posts in 4265 days

#13 posted 10-31-2008 01:50 PM

Nice table, I just finished a great book on shaker furniture, and this table is pretty close. I noticed that the dado for the drawer bottom pierced the dovetail in your drawer photo. I only point this out because it happened to me after hours of hand dovetailing some drawers. The book I read is named How to Build Shaker furniture by Thom. Moser circa 1977. It is a great read if anyone is interested in Shaker work, and is complete with many detailed plans and measured drawings. Keep up the good work.

-- Things of the greatest worth are from the Earth. If you tell yourself that something is "close enough" it is it again.

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 4296 days

#14 posted 11-01-2008 02:09 AM

Well done Mack. I see unemployment has been keeping you busy. Looking at this I think you are in no trouble trying to strike out into the furniture business. I love the grain flow and the dovetails are great. No one would notice a thing if you didn’t say anything. Let’s hook up and go to Pleasant Hill together. My wife wants to go too.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 4208 days

#15 posted 11-01-2008 04:53 PM

Hey Karson: TX sized dovetails—that’s great! LOL

Brent: Actually, what I think you are seeing is where I bruised the dovetail putting it together, because the one thing I didn’t manage to do is pierce it with the dado. Not that I haven’t done that before! I’ve seen the book you are talking about, although I don’t have a copy. It’s on my Amazon wish list now, though!

Shannon: Great idea about Pleasant Hill! We’ll have to Skype now that you have it!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

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