My Thorsen Table interpretation

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Project by Bill posted 05-28-2007 10:25 PM 2469 views 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok, so I have spent the last few weeks working on my interpretation of the Thorsen Table. It does not compare to all of the wonderful works I have seen on here lately. I am almost embarrassed to show it, let alone call it a Thorsen Table. But, here it is at last.

My take on the Thorsen Table was, what would the common person buy if they could not afford the Thorsen Table. Since this was some time back, I decided the mission style look would be a nice starting place.

The table is made of Red Oak, with the same general dimensions as the Thorsen Table. The table top is a single piece raised panel, with a slight beveling on the edges. The rails and stiles are simple tongue and groove attachment, that you might be able to see on the ends.

I beveled the edges of the stiles to give it the look of a breadboard top. The edges were rounded over, and cove cut underneath to lighten the look a bit.

The spindles, aprons, and stretchers were all mortise and tenons.

The finish is simply 3 coats of shellac wiped on, and sanded with steel wool between coats.

While I had originally planned to add a small drawer, I realized the aprons were not big enough once I put the cross support on the front. Silly me, I should have put it on the bottom instead (or not at all), then I could have added the drawer as I wanted. Well, that is a design improvement for the next version.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

17 comments so far

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4519 days

#1 posted 05-28-2007 10:34 PM

I don’t know what would motivate the “It doesn’t compare…” comment. It’s another interpretation of the style and has very clean lines without clutter. I’m impressed. Thanks for taking the time!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4782 days

#2 posted 05-28-2007 10:37 PM

Thanks for showing your table. You where brave to deviate a little from the original design. It’s a very nice design, & I’ve always liked Red Oak. Good Luck Bill !!

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

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4575 days

#3 posted 05-28-2007 10:46 PM

Looks great to me!

-- Paul, Kentucky

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4644 days

#4 posted 05-28-2007 11:15 PM

ditto on all of the above!!!!
I too love the nice clean lines as well as the raised area of the top.
I also like your inspiration: what people would buy if they couldn’t afford the original. Brilliant plan.!!

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4622 days

#5 posted 05-29-2007 12:06 AM

Bill -

I like th red oak. Very nice design interpretation of the original. I am also very impressed!


View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4580 days

#6 posted 05-29-2007 12:40 AM

I like it. It would fit in alot of houses better than the original.

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

View Karson's profile (online now)


35198 posts in 4883 days

#7 posted 05-29-2007 04:17 AM

Bill: This is not a competition but a “Woodworking Challenge”. This was to see how different people would build the project from the same starting point. We all saw the pictures and the plans and then we interpret it for our use.

That was the purpose of this challenge. Get everyones views and talents making something. I was wanting someone to do a wood burning of the table. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hope that it shows up.

Congratulation on the completion. And don’t think that yours is any less than anyone else’s. This is your table. Be proud of starting and completing. There are others who didn’t want to try, and there are others that wanted to make something but paying jobs got in the way.

I hope they complete it after the challenge so we will all get to see their view of this table.

-- 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 Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4569 days

#8 posted 05-29-2007 04:43 AM

I agree with all the above Bill. While I understand the design significance of the Thorsen table it is a bit too complicated a look for my taste. I like your look better. I won’t have my table done in time for the competition but it has much simpler lines than the original as well. I think I may bevel the top as well now that I see yours…..:)

I will be finishing mine eventually Karson…I changed the design of the chair I’m building to match the table so I better or the boss will kill me.

-- Bob

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4797 days

#9 posted 05-29-2007 05:57 AM

I like the mission style interpretation. I think I’m seeing an optical illusion in the third photo, it looks like one side is solid…I must be breathing too much lacquer thinner again.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4730 days

#10 posted 05-29-2007 06:02 AM

Congratulations Bill, you’re already a winner. You got done and got the thing posted, and it’s beautiful, what more could you ask for? jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4568 days

#11 posted 05-29-2007 06:12 PM

It’s a very nice looking table Bill! I usually don’t like red oak for it’s wild grain patterns, but this is very subdued. And I like your raised panel top. Quite classy. Good work!


View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4644 days

#12 posted 05-29-2007 06:20 PM

Thank you all for the compliments. It was actually a good experience to build this, and I am looking forward to our next challenges. They help me in many ways, with designs, learning new skills, putting old ones to good use, etc.

Yes Dennis, it is an optical illusion. I think I had just the right angle on that picture so the spindles on the back fill in the gaps you see from those in front.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View fred's profile


256 posts in 4581 days

#13 posted 05-29-2007 06:31 PM

Yes, another one who appreciates red oak. Well done, Bill.

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

View WeeWilly's profile


20 posts in 4550 days

#14 posted 05-29-2007 10:55 PM

Your version of the Thorsen table came out great. My wife would like to have you make two for her.

-- WeeWilly

View Karson's profile (online now)


35198 posts in 4883 days

#15 posted 05-30-2007 05:56 AM

Yah Bill a commission.

-- 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]

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