No power tools but sorry, painted white.

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Project by drewpy posted 07-20-2015 03:56 AM 2037 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First of all I just want to say that I typically never paint wood but with this learning project, it’s roughness, and where it was going to fit in the house it was best.

Last year I found 1.5×1.5×32 poplar for $2 each at a Big Box store and picked a few up. I figured these would be good stock for messing around. I decided to try to do some mortise and tenon without power tools and decided on a simple plant stand all without power tools.

Tools used – Hand twist drill to start the mortise (borrowed from neighbors Dad), ¼ chisel, crappy block plane to taper legs, and a hand saw.

Things learned 1) I really learned a lot from reading blogs you all have posted about honing and sharpening chisels and plane blades. This alone made the project worthwhile. 2) It was actually very relaxing and rewarding making the mortise with the drill and chisel. 3) I really need to practice more with a hand tenon saw.

My mortise and tenons were most likely too loose but I packed them with shavings, glued them up and figured they wouldn’t really have any major stress on them during their lifetime.

Since this was poplar I just painted it white to fit in by the window for a new plant. The tile is just a sample I picked up for $1 and can be removed and/or changed. There is a hole in the top so that you can just push it up with a finger.

Overall project cost was around $10 with tax.

Thanks for looking.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

10 comments so far

View Siegs's profile


50 posts in 2027 days

#1 posted 07-20-2015 04:33 AM

Fits in well with the vase and chair and sounds like you learned a lot. Nice job.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2460 days

#2 posted 07-20-2015 04:38 AM

I cut a square block to register my chisel against for the first 1/2-3/4” of the mortise. It worked great for me to get things started and to double check here and there. Good work.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25737 posts in 4079 days

#3 posted 07-20-2015 11:33 AM

Nice table!! I’m impressed that it was done will hand tool only.

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dave's profile


21 posts in 2307 days

#4 posted 07-20-2015 02:57 PM

Nice work with only using hand tools.

-- “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, and a good woman - or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” ― George Burns

View TTAYLOR's profile


12 posts in 2175 days

#5 posted 07-20-2015 03:06 PM

Nice job on shaping the legs. Makes for a much more interesting look in such a simple table.

View ZachNack's profile


17 posts in 2027 days

#6 posted 07-20-2015 03:09 PM

Nice cheap project to learn new skills and it turned out very well. It really fits in with your decor around your desk.

View Jim's profile


254 posts in 4618 days

#7 posted 07-20-2015 07:22 PM

I like the way you put the chamfer on the end of the legs, that’s a nice detail. Don’t apologize for painting the wood, I don’t usually paint wood either but sometimes a nice painted finish, just suits the project or environment where it will be placed. I’ve done it a few times and quite liked the result. Poplar is an excellent wood for a painted finish!

-- Jim in Langley BC Canada ---

View drewpy's profile


1046 posts in 2331 days

#8 posted 07-20-2015 09:49 PM

Thanks everyone.

TheFridge – Thanks for the tip. That will be very helpful in the future.

Jim – It just worked out perfect. Poplar was easy to work with during this project and it did take the paint very well. I should have put that under “things learned”!!!

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Mattyboy's profile


50 posts in 2052 days

#9 posted 07-20-2015 10:51 PM

I like it. Working with non-powered hand tools can be extremely rewarding. Little noise, much safer, potentially greater precision.

-- Matt, Northern CA

View eldercop's profile


92 posts in 2482 days

#10 posted 07-20-2015 11:30 PM

Fitting, functional and solid. great and the learning is pure gravy

-- "Experience is what you get the day after you needed it" Mark Twain

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