Staked Worktable

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Project by Jeremymcon posted 11-03-2016 11:02 PM 3656 views 7 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently finished this staked worktable that I made based on the design in “The Anarchist’s Design Book” by Chris Schwartz. Legs are white oak stained black, top is Douglas fir from the home center. Battens are 8/4 Sassafras.

This table will be a desk for my younger brother, so I also made a small stand that he could place a computer on. Not sure if it works visually (looks a little awkward), but it was made from scraps anyway.

The table is surprisingly sturdy! I cut 2” round tenons on the end of the legs using a chisel and draw knife, and they are glued and wedged into 2” mortises in the battens. Battens are friction fit only, and can be removed with a few (careful) knocks with a rubber mallet for ease of transport. I can sit on this table and it feels very solid – no racking because of the angled legs. The stand is sturdy enough to stand on as well.

Finished with minwax polycrylic.

Hoping my brother likes it – my dog apparently thinks it’s boring! Lol. Didn’t realize he was in the picture yawning until I uploaded it.

8 comments so far

View swirt's profile


6023 posts in 3981 days

#1 posted 11-04-2016 01:25 AM

Nice! It looks like the battens are sliding dovetails. I love it. they keep the table flat and allow for expansion contraction, as well as disassembly. Are they tapered or stopped in some way or they just stop when you stop tapping them in to place?

I have contemplated using sliding dovetail battens as an alternative to breadboard ends, but had not considered them as the solution to mounting legs as well. Thanks for presenting a project that shifts my thinking. :)

-- Galootish log blog,

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 3022 days

#2 posted 11-04-2016 01:36 AM

Nice work Jeremy. I like the sliding dt’s. Are the rake and splay angles and the same? I will start a small bench in the same fashion soon. I will be working from a measured drawing that only gives one angle and I’m assuming it will be the same for the rake.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Jeremymcon's profile


420 posts in 1689 days

#3 posted 11-04-2016 01:53 AM

I honestly didn’t intend for the dovetails to be tapered, but because I was working mostly by hand (drill press and band saw only), they both ended up being slightly tapered. I guess the guide block I set up for sawing the sides of the groove weren’t both perfectly square/parallel to each other. Worked out though – I fit the battens by hand planing some wood off the side of the battens until they’d fit, and now they only fit in from one side and in one direction, and stop right at the end of the table.

Chris Schwartz has a chapter in his book about how to figure out the angles and drill the angled holes in his book! But yes, the rake and splay are the same angle. That’s not really the way I thought about it for this project though. This table used a single fixed angle in reference to a “sight line” drawn at an angle on the batten. That sight line was at 45 degrees for this particular project, which is why I said rake and splay are the same.

View swirt's profile


6023 posts in 3981 days

#4 posted 11-04-2016 01:59 PM

Thanks for the explanation Jeremymcon.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Jeremymcon's profile


420 posts in 1689 days

#5 posted 11-05-2016 04:03 AM

Sweet! Daily top 3! Thats a first.

View Mcnervy's profile


108 posts in 4113 days

#6 posted 11-05-2016 05:58 PM

Very cool

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

View AnttiN's profile


38 posts in 3225 days

#7 posted 11-09-2016 12:10 AM

Very nice project! Chris Schwarz would be proud of you. I have the book too, and I think it has a lot of great ideas. You’ve done an excellent job of interpreting his message.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1355 posts in 2723 days

#8 posted 08-03-2017 08:40 PM

Great looking table!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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