Entry Hall Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Derek Cohen posted 03-14-2020 03:53 PM 1269 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There is a full record of this build on my website. Go to the furniture build index, and scan down until you get to Entry Hall Table For a Niece:

My niece is getting married at the end of March, the entry hall table she asked for is completed, and in a couple of days it will head off to Sydney.

This is the model for the table she wanted me to build, but to build it in Jarrah …

I needed to make a few modifications. The most notable were, firstly, that there are three drawers, where the model has two. With a little research, it became evident that the model was a “flat pack” build from a store in the UK, and it used slides and poppers for the drawers. Without slides, wide drawers will rack since the depth-to-width ratio is all wrong. Three drawers change this ratio and make it workable.

Secondly, building a drawer to ride wood-on-wood, one cannot use poppers – and so drawer handles are necessary. My niece was keen that drawer handles would not be seen, and I have done my best to make them unobtrusive.

Together with the desire to avoid drawer handles, there was also the request to make the drawers appear to be a single piece, rather than drawers separated by drawer dividers. The fact is, we had to have drawer dividers. So, to hide them, drawer fronts were given lips, with a lip covering half the width of a divider. In this way, the dividers could double as drawer stops. Making lipped, half-blind dovetails was a first for me. In the end, they were not too bad.

The case of the original table is mitred, and this is likely butt jointed and supported with either dowels, biscuits or dominos. My choice was to use mitred through dovetails, both for their strength and also for aesthetics. Although I have done a number of similar cases in recent years, this joint is one where you hold your breath until it all comes together. Then you wonder what the fuss was about :)

A fifth change was the attachment of the legs. The model likely used a metal screw per leg, which was common with Mid Century furniture. I wanted something stronger and durable so, in place of this, my decision was to stake the legs into a thicker base, which was firmly attached to the underside of the case with tapered, stopped sliding dovetails. A bit more work, but I will sleep better at night.

At the end of the day, it resembles a box, and only a woodworker will recognise that it is a very complex box. :)

Okay, here it is. It is photographed in my entrance hall ....

The wood is fiddleback (curly) Jarrah.

A close up the waterfall on one side …

... and on the other …

The obligatory dovetail shot …

Those drawers! The lipped drawer fronts are 20mm, with the drawer sides 1/4”. The back is 15mm thick. The thin sides necessitated drawer slips. These were beaded to create a transition from slip to drawer bottom. The drawer bottoms are 1/4”. The wood used here is Tasmanian Oak.

Since the case and internals are build from hard Jarrah, the underside of the slips was given a Jarrah slide to improve ware properties.

As mentioned earlier, the aim was to present a single board at the front …

Here may be seen how the lips share the drawer divider and use it as a drawer stop. The spacers at the side of the case are half the width of the dividers as they do not share two drawers.

Now those drawer handles …

I tried to keep the design as simple as possible, and used the same wood as the drawer fronts so they would blend in. The upper drawer shows the finger grip on underside of the handle …

Drawer extension is good – about 80-85 percent …

The internal bevels around the case …

... maintained a straight edge to the drawer line. Plus the gap between the drawers (about 0.5mm) ...


Near-to-last, the case back: this is made from the same Jarrah – one never knows if the piece will end up against a wall or out in the open.

Someone will ask if the brass screws were clocked … of course they were! :)

And a final photo to provide some scale. This is taken with a chair I built a few years ago …

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

14 comments so far

View Bernard58's profile


131 posts in 2129 days

#1 posted 03-14-2020 04:03 PM

Very elegant design and well executed, with attention for detail. I like it. How did you attach the legs at an angle?

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

View CharlieK's profile


605 posts in 5078 days

#2 posted 03-14-2020 04:05 PM

Nice job!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

517 posts in 5253 days

#3 posted 03-14-2020 04:21 PM

Very elegant design and well executed, with attention for detail. I like it. How did you attach the legs at an angle?

- Bernard58

Bernard, there are three articles about that …

Sliding dovetail …

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View recycle1943's profile


5961 posts in 2907 days

#4 posted 03-14-2020 05:12 PM

One quality piece of furniture.- very nice

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View oldrivers's profile


2802 posts in 2851 days

#5 posted 03-14-2020 06:17 PM

Very nice, Job well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Peteybadboy's profile


4153 posts in 3234 days

#6 posted 03-14-2020 07:22 PM


To my eye this is excellent work. Dovetails care for the wood and finish, attaching the legs the drawers all look excellent. I hope your niece likes the drawer pulls. Thanks for posting. excellent work.

-- Petey

View Armentor's profile


1 post in 627 days

#7 posted 03-14-2020 08:21 PM

Very nice. Exceptional attention to detail. I like the drawer pulls. Only other option might be some type of push activated magnetic latch – but probably not. Keep up the good work!

View socrbent's profile


1048 posts in 3554 days

#8 posted 03-14-2020 09:07 PM

Looks like a first class piece of furniture. I am curious about your choice to orient the box dovetails as you did?

-- socrbent Ohio

View therealSteveN's profile


9230 posts in 1859 days

#9 posted 03-14-2020 09:56 PM

Nice table Derek. Awesome journey documentation.

-- Think safe, be safe

View swirt's profile


6816 posts in 4257 days

#10 posted 03-15-2020 01:38 AM

Beautiful wood and workmanship. Impressive how you got the drawers to line up so cleanly at the edges.

-- Galootish log blog,

View PaxJen's profile


216 posts in 1941 days

#11 posted 03-15-2020 02:48 PM

Wonderful as is all of your work. Thank you for the generous amount of photos. Favorited.

-- Pax - Maryland

View mafe's profile


13404 posts in 4374 days

#12 posted 03-15-2020 03:57 PM

Beautiful furniture Derek and what a wonderful display of craftmanship.
So simple a box, with so many hidden detals, that comes out, once you start looking closer.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Scott Landry's profile

Scott Landry

210 posts in 2755 days

#13 posted 03-15-2020 08:29 PM

Very nice joinery. or is it jointery? anyways…. really spectacular.

-- Every project is an opportunity to acquire new tools and any solution that requires buying a new tool is the correct one.

View Bernard58's profile


131 posts in 2129 days

#14 posted 03-15-2020 09:13 PM

Thanks Derek,

Excellent and elegant solution with those sliding dovetails. Congrats for a beautiful design, nice choice of woods, flawless execution, and for documenting your work so thoroughly!!

Very elegant design and well executed, with attention for detail. I like it. How did you attach the legs at an angle?

- Bernard58

Bernard, there are three articles about that …

Sliding dovetail …

Regards from Perth


- Derek Cohen

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics