Alder Entry Table

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Project by dennis mitchell posted 11-12-2006 06:55 AM 3614 views 11 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finely got the washer, dryer and refrigerator out of my shop and found a few days to build something! I havn’t done much carving the last few years so in was nice to break out the old chisels. The quakies around my part of Idaho are turning so I just cut off a branch and carved and painted it as it lay on the wood. The table is Alder with willow twigs. The carved section is maple. I really enjoyed playing with the form of this table. Thanks to all you Jocks for the inspiration your work has given me!

12 comments so far

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4882 days

#1 posted 11-13-2006 03:39 AM

This is a cool table. I really like it. How is alder to work with? I’ve never had the chance to use it.

I’m not sure why you would have appliances in your shop space. Having wood projects stored in your utility room makes sense to me though.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4713 days

#2 posted 11-13-2006 05:19 AM

Beautiful table Dennis. I’ve made a couple of things with alder starting with a tool cabinet, a magazine rack, and I used to work in Eugene at Whittier Wood Product where they make a lot of things out of alder. None quite as nice as yours though. And as far as I’m concerned anyplace there’s room for tools, there’s gonna be tools, and furniture, and sawdust. I read the comments that Sam Maloof said about if your spouse isn’t in it with you, it isn’t going to work out. Well. my wife went on vacation and while she was gone I turned the spare bedroom in our apartment into a shop. “See Honey? There’s a tarp on the floor to keep all the sawdust out of the carpet” (I didn’t say anything about how to keep the sawdust from getting on everything else in the apartment.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4882 days

#3 posted 11-13-2006 09:22 PM

I am still laughing Obi:
I like the tarp idea. When I was growing up my dad built me a workbench (which I still use) for my “bedroom.” He would let me build in my little space, making dust, spilling paint, and all sorts of non-bedroom related disasters. When my mother would complain about the damage, or mess, my dad would step in and ask her to cut me some slack. They did change the carpet and repainted when I finally headed off to the state college.

I lived in an apartment once where the previous owner restored Harley’s in the living room. A tarp pretty much protected the carpet, at least for a rental unit.

As for Sam Maloof and his appreciation for his late-wife, I really didn’t even give justice in my report from the show and lecture for the many nice things he said about his deceased wife, and her support over the years. He repeated this thread of his story many times during his lecture. His new wife sat in front of me in the audience, and she seemed to understand, was very gracious, and obviously loves and appreciates Sam very much also. Sam shared that she was a customer of his many years ago, and some time after his wife passed away, he met the new wife at a function they attended separately, and sort of hit it off, became close friends, and then they decided to marry. Sam said he had to hire someone to manage the business orders, customer calls, and the schedule, replacing what his first wife used to do for the business.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4790 days

#4 posted 11-13-2006 11:00 PM

For the rest of the story…my wife has been stuck in a broken down leaking mildew ridden 1970s 5th wheel while I build our house. The toilet didn’t work so we had a job site “blue room”. The propane system leaked so we only turned it on to cook. The refigerator didn’t work so every time she needed something she had to go out to my shop to the refrigerator there. A.C. didn’t work…and she had the nerve to demand I hook up her washer and dryer so she didn’t have to drive 15 miles every time she needed to do laundry! You guys are lucky to have such understanding wives. (P.S. she loves her “almost” finished house)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4882 days

#5 posted 11-27-2006 08:15 PM

wow. I knew a guy in Colorado once that kept his family in an Airstream while he built log cabins for rich folks. The wife eventually moved back home with mom and took the two kids with her. He stayed on for a few months to finish the cabin he was building, and then he sold the Airstream and moved back in with his wife at her mom’s house. Your wife has more patience than most would have. Can you imagine the guts it took for a family to sell everything they had in New England except for what would fit in a covered wagon, so that they could make the journey West. How did those folks do it? Congrats on the house, wish I was closer to help you on a few days, I would enjoy it.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4653 days

#6 posted 01-01-2007 03:01 AM

I used to drive a company car. I purchased a new car for my wife which she loved. A few months later, I changed jobs that did not provide a car, so I needed a new one Simple, I thought, trade in my wifes car. I sort of mentioned this to my wife in an oblique kind of way and she didn’t respond. Sow a few days later, I traded in her car (without her permission) when she was having her hair done. I picked her up from the hairdresser in “our” new car. She was not impressed, and had never let me forget it since.

So I don’t think I will be turning any rooms in our house into a workshop when she is travelling overseas. I just know it would be the end of a 44 year marriage.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4653 days

#7 posted 01-01-2007 03:06 AM

Dennis, I should have first commented on this table – I like it. Unique in its design, I really like the shape of the legs, and the way they are fitted to the table. The Alder and Willow work well together and the square plugs are a nice accent touch.

Thank _you _for the inspiration.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4637 days

#8 posted 01-08-2007 01:58 PM

This is beautiful. If your creations were in my house I would never go outside. I’d just spend the day touching all the wood/curves/carving.

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

View bigpops0259's profile


320 posts in 4625 days

#9 posted 01-17-2007 03:34 PM

beatiful, very creative. ilike the design and the carving on the drawer front i wish i had the time to learn to carve. a real insperation

-- Marty Ohio

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4553 days

#10 posted 04-17-2007 07:31 PM

This is a great table. Looks similar to a writting table my Grandmother has. Her’s is oak, I like this Alder much better. Like DebbieP says “Functional Wood Art”.

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4615 days

#11 posted 04-17-2007 10:40 PM

Dennis – absolutely wonderful work! I like the alder and willow. I agree with Mark’s comment – wish I lived closer – would be great to help out on the house. And from a selfish point of view, get a chance to learn from you as well! Cudos to you and your wife!


View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4482 days

#12 posted 12-06-2007 02:34 PM

I love this table Dennis! Just a great design.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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