Hacienda Table

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Project by KnotCurser posted 01-03-2010 07:40 PM 1972 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The problem was this – we had three cats and a dog. OK, that wasn’t the real problem. The REAL problem was that while the cats wouldn’t eat the dog’s food, the dog would devour the cat’s kibble. The solution was to build an elevated feeding area for the fuzzbutts. This would also make it easier to feed the cats.

The solution is what you see here – it was taken from a picture of a Hacienda Table that is sitting in the Mexican Presidential Mansion (No Kidding!) but was shrunken to around 4 feet long by two feet wide. The original one was over 8 feet long! It also had a glass shelf on the bottom running the entire length which I quickly decided would not be good with three cats and a dog running all over the place.

This not only solved our problem but gave us quite a bit more storage area – the two drawers each measure roughly 2 feet square and really deep. And the cats seem to have no problems making the easy jump up to dine – the dog was a little peeved, but he got over it.

It’s made out of long leaf pine and all hand mortise and tenon jointed. I was able to get 6/4 lumber for the top so I didn’t have to laminate anything. I was worried that such a large surface would warp but it hasn’t cracked in three years so I guess I’m lucky! The two drawers are also hand dovetailed. One of my first tries at dovetailing.

I consider this my first challenging piece (at the time) and really enjoyed building it. It’s kind of what got me hooked on woodworking. I’ve made MANY pieces since then, but this one remains special. Kind of like that first car…........

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

9 comments so far

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 01-03-2010 08:40 PM

Nice looking table. You should be proud of your first project.

Welcome to LJ”s. Look forward to seeing more from you.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1595 posts in 4257 days

#2 posted 01-03-2010 08:44 PM

Great job on the table.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4596 days

#3 posted 01-03-2010 08:59 PM

Very nicely made table.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4828 days

#4 posted 01-03-2010 10:34 PM

neat idea. like the look. beefy.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4679 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 01:44 AM

Nice looking table.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4583 days

#6 posted 01-04-2010 02:18 AM

Very nice desk good job


View McLeanVA's profile


493 posts in 4440 days

#7 posted 01-04-2010 02:45 AM

That’s a really nice table. Funny I would have never guess such a nice piece was created to solve a pet problem. Sounds as though it has worked like a charm. Thank you for the construction photos. Really shows a great layout and build. Nice work.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View Flidais's profile


3 posts in 4008 days

#8 posted 03-14-2010 03:36 AM

I love the table, it looks great. I was actually thinking of making something similar to go in the dining room and I was wondering if you has any problems with the wood above the heater vent? My table would go in a really similar location and I’ve been a little worried about the heat.

View KnotCurser's profile


2039 posts in 4074 days

#9 posted 03-14-2010 04:08 AM


I have had no problems at all and it’s been in this location for quite a few years now.

I would say, however, that this is not a heat vent, but a vent for a heat pump – two different things! This only gets to a tad over room temperature in the winter and a tad under in the summer.

If this were a true heat register – say from an oil furnace or something – I might be a bit concerned.

One other thing I would suggest is to make really certain your top can expand/contract!!! I used Norm Abram’s “trick” of routing a groove all around the inside of the apron and create wooden “clips” that ride inside of the groove – this way the wood can expand all it wants but the top is still held firmly.

Good luck and make sure you post pictures when your done!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

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