Simple Red Oak End Table

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Project by azor posted 04-08-2010 08:27 PM 3363 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my version of the end table on page 33 of “Tables” by Anthony Guidice [available at Rockler]. This is a great book for entry level people like me. I made it from Red Oak as other red oak furniture exist in the same room and, except for Poplar it is the only hard wood available from Lowes, Home Depot. The nearest real hardwood supplier is 60 miles away. Even so, I had to travel there for 8/4 redwood to do the legs. As usual I came home with barely enough to do the job. Red Oak is not my favorite wood, but I seem to be stuck with using it. This is my first project using real wood for a table top instead of veneer plywood. I don’t have access to a wide belt sander in my area so a belt and orbital sander had to do. It is also my first use of a drawer lock router bit as I am still somewhat intimidated with dovetails. I used some recycled fir for the drawer insides which resulted in some breakage, splintering, etc. after the drawer lock bit was used. So I got some more repair practice in. Note to self, use Poplar instead! Even though I spent a lot of time shimming up the false drawer front to center it I did not get that result despite my efforts. The drawer also gave me an opportunity to try out my new #4 Veritas smoothing plane. While I am a real neophyte with planes the result was very satisfying.

After I finished with the sanding I just added some Butcher Block oil to emphasize the grain and MinWax rub-on Satin poly after that. As you can tell I am not really into finishing.


-- It isn't as easy as the demos make it seem.

4 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4680 days

#1 posted 04-09-2010 12:12 AM

Nice end table.

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4493 days

#2 posted 04-09-2010 05:48 AM

I like it. Red oak is a bit brittle, and grainy, but your table has great form. Nice tapered legs. My Lowes carries S3S white oak. I like those 45 degree miters on the front drawer plate. I bought the router bit from Rocklers on sale for cheap a year ago but haven’t used it yet. I even bought the UHMW setup jig. I gotta get that thing out and give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

PS, if it wasn’t for Watco oil/varnish – danish oil, i’d probably smear everything with BLO and call it good.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4584 days

#3 posted 04-09-2010 06:35 AM

View azor's profile


65 posts in 4450 days

#4 posted 04-09-2010 06:08 PM

A follow-on thought. A regret I have is that I wish I spent more time looking at the color of the red oak. This is a problem when you work with dimensioned lumber from a big box store. I would have done the top differently and matched the front rails better in hind sight. Yesterday, I bought a couple of dimensioned pieces at my local Lowes. I spent some time going through all the pieces they had to find just 2 of them that matched closely in color.

David, I bought my drawer lock router bit and the UHMW setup block from MCLS on-line. MLCS is very competitive with the Woodworking stores and there is no shipping charge!


-- It isn't as easy as the demos make it seem.

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