Mesquite Side Table w/ Drawer

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Project by Rich posted 02-07-2018 01:13 AM 3476 views 12 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a side table with drawer, 16” deep by 20” wide and 24” tall. It is constructed from mesquite, maple and baltic birch. All of the elements of the table are mesquite with the exception of the drawer sides and back, and the drawer runners and guides which are maple, and the drawer bottom which is baltic birch plywood. The top is book matched from sequential boards. The aprons are joined to the legs with mortise and tenon joinery.

I used a different construction technique for the drawer back than I normally do. Typically, I dovetail the back and put a dado all around for the drawer bottom. This time, I copied a method I’ve seen on some antiques, using glue blocks to secure the sides and bottom to the back of the drawer. If anyone can provide enlightenment regarding this technique, please chime in.

I also diverted from my usual method of work by using hot hide glue throughout the construction. The reversibility saved my butt on one bad joint that I was able to separate with my heat gun and re-glue. It also was what inspired me to copy the glue block method for the drawer back and bottom. The only metal in the construction is the use of Z-clips to attach the top.

The mesquite is finished with General Finishes satin Arm-R-Seal, and the drawer components including the back side of the mesquite drawer front are finished with General Finishes flat High Performance top coat. I chose the waterborne finish for the drawer interior to keep down odor. The underside of the drawer sides as well as the runners and guides are unfinished and I used Behlen Slideez as a lubricant for smooth action.

Thank you for looking.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

32 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3060 posts in 3074 days

#1 posted 02-07-2018 01:38 AM

Nice table, great wood placement – that grain pattern on the drawer & the book matched top are beautiful.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View oldrivers's profile


2316 posts in 2450 days

#2 posted 02-07-2018 01:45 AM

Beautiful table, great workmanship.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6297 posts in 3292 days

#3 posted 02-07-2018 02:23 AM

That is a masterpiece. Awesome details with the mesquite.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View wcp's profile


156 posts in 1483 days

#4 posted 02-07-2018 02:40 AM

Absolutely beautiful.


View Brady's profile


80 posts in 2463 days

#5 posted 02-07-2018 03:10 AM

That is really nice. What is the finish that you used?


-- Brady, Texas,

View Rich's profile


5987 posts in 1473 days

#6 posted 02-07-2018 03:35 AM

That is really nice. What is the finish that you used?

- Brady

Thanks for reminding me, Brady. I totally spaced out on mentioning the finish. I added a paragraph up top to explain it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View tyvekboy's profile


2059 posts in 3897 days

#7 posted 02-07-2018 03:41 AM


-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Ivan's profile


16320 posts in 3751 days

#8 posted 02-07-2018 06:36 AM

Nice classic piece with awesome dovetails.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Rich's profile


5987 posts in 1473 days

#9 posted 02-07-2018 06:54 AM

I appreciate all the kind words. I’m very fortunate to live in an area where mesquite is indigenous, and there are many truly artisan sawyers from whom I can purchase beautiful, sequential slabs to work with. It’s been a learning experience to go from working with dimensional lumber to trying to see what is inside these slabs and how I can turn it into something functional and beautiful to look at.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1531 days

#10 posted 02-07-2018 11:28 AM

Most excellent, Rich. The mesquite is breath taking. I’m sure George Hepplewhite is smiling down upon you!

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1659 days

#11 posted 02-07-2018 12:49 PM

very nice

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2834 posts in 4475 days

#12 posted 02-07-2018 12:56 PM

Beautiful, I love the clarity of the wood grain!

-- Dennis Zongker

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4474 days

#13 posted 02-07-2018 01:50 PM

Beautiful….superb workmanship.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Billfish's profile


154 posts in 2456 days

#14 posted 02-07-2018 02:06 PM

all of the above

View therealSteveN's profile


6460 posts in 1458 days

#15 posted 02-07-2018 03:20 PM

EMBRACE the imperfections, that makes this piece what it is. The style of it is seen everywhere you look, but this Sir is perfection. Awesome insight = awesome work.

Showed this to LOML, she pointed at that drawer front and just said, oooooooooooooooooh yes.

I know from experience that Mesquite can be straight, flat, and plain as Jane, but it can also be wild enough to shoot at. Good choices.

-- Think safe, be safe

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