My First End Table Design

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Project by BassBully posted 05-01-2007 05:29 PM 2600 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years ago (about six or seven) my wife and I made this end table for two friends of ours that were getting married. They still have it today and I requested that they send these pictures to me so I could post it. It looks like it might have a couple of scratches in the finish now (top left) but that’s expected since they’ve moved a lot.

These are good friends of ours and at the time we didn’t know what to get them for their wedding. Since we were in college, I hadn’t been able to do any woodworking for awhile and was having withdrawals so this gave me an opportunity to cure my itch. My wife and I faced three main challenges with this project. First, we didn’t know what to make them, second, we didn’t have any plans, and third, the only woodworking shop available to us was 20 minutes away at my uncle’s house.

Even though the end table now sits over 750 miles away from us (Are friends now live in Dallas, TX), it brings back good memories for my wife and I. The 20 minute drives back and forth from my uncle’s shop allowed my wife and I to have great one-on-one times. Also, it was a joy to work with my wife on this project and take our mind off of school. She is a great helper.

My uncle’s shop was pretty basic. He had a table saw, drill press, chisels, and miter saw. I purchased new saw blades because his weren’t very sharp. I also let him have the blades as a thank you for letting us use his space. The plans were drawn up all in my head. I measured a couple of couches’ arm rests to get general height and depth measurements. I started by creating the top first and that gave me the parameters for the base. After the top was done, I dimensioned the base to how aesthetically pleasing it would be to the top. Once the base measurements were done, I knew the measurements for the drawer and bottom shelf.

The top squares were not designed to be a checkerboard—people usually ask. I actually wanted diamond shapes but I had to save time somewhere and would’ve had to make jigs for accuracy. The oak squares overlay 5/8” pine plywood. The oak trim that fences in the squares were tongue and grooved and glued onto the squares/plywood. The top was fastened using the Kreg system. The legs and sides were joined together using mortise and tenon joints (drilled & chiseled). The drawer is dovetailed using the cheaper Craftsmen dovetail jig and it worked great. I used Minwax Golden Oak stain and semi-gloss poly sprayed on with a Wagner paint sprayer.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

17 comments so far

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4561 days

#1 posted 05-01-2007 05:36 PM

Very nice project and a great story! I like the dovetails on your drawers.


View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4519 days

#2 posted 05-01-2007 05:42 PM

Thank you David.

You didn’t say this but, looking at the pictures, I don’t remember the stain being so orange in color, especially since I used Golden Oak. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it in person though. Maybe the color has just changed over time.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4583 days

#3 posted 05-01-2007 05:56 PM

what a wonderful gift!!
This is beautiful. I really like the design of the top. Well done

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View fred's profile


256 posts in 4520 days

#4 posted 05-01-2007 06:05 PM

That is a wonderful table. The cats seem to like it too.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 4520 days

#5 posted 05-01-2007 08:14 PM

An excellent gift. I’m going to talk to my wife about do this for some friends of ours. Thanks for sharing the idea. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it?

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4519 days

#6 posted 05-01-2007 08:27 PM

Dr. Sawdust,

You can borrow the idea all you want. Thanks. Good luck with your project.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View niki's profile


426 posts in 4502 days

#7 posted 05-01-2007 09:10 PM

That’s a beautiful table

I don’t know to do it (at least not those squares and the dovetailed drawer) but if I would, I think that my wife would not give it away as a gift (I know her), especially if she had active part in it.

Very nice work

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4500 days

#8 posted 05-02-2007 12:15 AM

They must like it if they still have it. I can see that the cats are loving it. Now if your friends change their minds, I’d take it in a heartbeat…It a great job. I like the details you put down on how you made it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of woodworking.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View pierre's profile


76 posts in 4470 days

#9 posted 05-02-2007 03:07 PM

Hi BassBully,

Very nice and I love the top. What a nice gift.

have a good day,


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4722 days

#10 posted 05-02-2007 03:31 PM

A beautiful table, & heirloom.
The color may be from the lighting. Sometimes the camera causes that affect.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4515 days

#11 posted 05-02-2007 04:29 PM

Great piece Bass. That must be a picture of a mouse in that frame on the lower shelf ;-)
Thanks for sharing

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4519 days

#12 posted 07-01-2007 09:49 PM

Great project. I’ve not seen any posts lately. You still hanging around?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4733 days

#13 posted 07-03-2007 12:01 AM

You must be very proud of your work, that it has stood the test of time and moving. I can see that you were very close friends for you and your wife to have taken the time to make this wonderful end table.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4519 days

#14 posted 07-13-2007 09:13 PM

Thanks WayneC and oscorner.

To answer your question Wayne, I’ve haven’t posted anything in a while but I have been checking in on the site. About a month ago I finished up some consulting that was in addition to my regular job. I was putting in about 65 hours a week and trying to get things done at home. So, before that, I didn’t have much time to commit to posting anything. Likewise, after the consulting ended, I’m trying to play catchup with my family which is more fun but also taking up time. I’m drawing a picture for my Dad for his birthday. After that, I’m going to work on a floating shelf and carve some wording in it for my wife for our anniversary. Then I’ll be able to submit more.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4519 days

#15 posted 07-14-2007 04:37 AM

Glad to hear things are busy but going well. See ya when you have more time.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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