Experiments in Pine

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Project by Russel posted 03-26-2011 12:46 PM 2240 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was feeling a bit predictable and wanted to do something a little less bland. I had just picked up a load of Pine from my buddy Dennis at Michigan Harwoods and thought, Pine is pretty. So I started milling and cutting and glueing and sanding and stuff.

According to my daughter, the legs and feet of my tables needed more personality. I also wanted a way to attach feet to a column without the bother of mortising. The result was a small platform that could hold the column and add some visual interest.

Again, according to my daughter, the feet on my tables sometimes look weak. So, for the coffee table I tried beefing them up a bit.

Now, my first inclination was to turn some basic uprights to support the top of the coffee table, but I heard my daughter again (she’s full of ideas) and decided to splay them out a bit. However, that design is inherently unstable, so I had to mortise them into the bottom shelf. Don’t know why, but I determined I would hand chop the mortises with my new mortising chisels. It’s not as simple as Roy Underhill makes it look by the way.

After all was said and done, I ended up with a interesting little lamp table and a coffee table. I’m rather pleased with the design, but need a little more refinement on the technique and assembly.

-- Working at Woodworking

14 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3624 days

#1 posted 03-26-2011 01:37 PM

A technique used by the old timers on their candle stands to make the joint between the turned post and the top and bottom stronger was to make a small “doubler” so the post’s tenons had twice as much wood to go through, thus supporting it much better. The upper doubler for one like yours might be a 4 to 6 inch disk and the lower one smaller to hide under the leg support. Just a suggestion. I like the work otherwise. Your daughter should join you in the shop. Sounds like she has the makings of a pretty good wood worker. I guess the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree, eh?

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View patron's profile


13702 posts in 4077 days

#2 posted 03-26-2011 03:04 PM

good to see your work again my friend

your designs are always an inspiration
they keep moving forward
into new and exiting places

and yea
who needs to cover the same ground
over and over

well done

put her to work too
lest she sits at her desk
and gives you the eye
to stay busy lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4433 days

#3 posted 03-26-2011 05:31 PM

Great job you did, I like pine used it a few times and always comes out nice very easy to damage though.

View jack1's profile


2148 posts in 4763 days

#4 posted 03-26-2011 07:46 PM

Two great looking pieces and a neat technique to boot! COOL.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Dusty56's profile


11858 posts in 4423 days

#5 posted 03-26-2011 09:21 PM

Beautiful lamp table Russel !!
The top and spindle are perfect in every way , and the feet had a familiar look to them as well !

I recognized the design right away : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4821 days

#6 posted 03-26-2011 09:31 PM

Very nice leg design. An attractive pair of tables! Great job.


View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4675 days

#7 posted 03-27-2011 12:49 PM

Thanks for looking folks. I appreciate the kind words, and my daughter’s “dust issue” keeps her out of the shop, but she has a regular input to design.

Big Tiny: I like the doubler idea I’ll have to give it a try.

Patron: I always appreciate your encouragement.

GMan, Jack1 and Barbs: Always good to see you folks.

Dusty: If you recognized the design, then I guess it wasn’t as different as I thought. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 4332 days

#8 posted 03-27-2011 11:40 PM

I like it alot there Russel

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Dusty56's profile


11858 posts in 4423 days

#9 posted 03-28-2011 01:21 AM

Just teasing you , my friend : )
That lamp stand is one of a kind !!
What finish did you use and what are the dimensions ,please ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4675 days

#10 posted 03-28-2011 01:46 AM

Dusty: the Lamp Table is 23 inches high and the top is 15 inches in diameter. The Coffee Table is 24×44 and 18 inches tall. The finish is shellac as a seal coat and then four coats of wipe-on poly.

Thank you Rick and Barry.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Dusty56's profile


11858 posts in 4423 days

#11 posted 03-28-2011 01:51 AM

Thanks so much , Russel : )

Adding to my favorites right now !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4497 days

#12 posted 03-28-2011 02:18 AM


Simple and elegant! Come on U.P. to the Upper Peninsula. Boy have we got pine!

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4813 days

#13 posted 04-06-2011 01:36 AM

Hey Russel . . . another nice table. I did use pine quite a bit, but I found it was very aromatic and I would smell like pine for a while. Thats why I switched to poplar and spruce.

Like Cessna, I’m thinking that a nice coat of burgundy milk paint would look nice on your next one.

The coffee table is an interesting design. It sort of has an Asian\whimsical feel to it. How did you laminate the top . . . biscuits?

-- BLOG -

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4675 days

#14 posted 04-06-2011 01:51 AM

Hey Zuki … thanks. Every now and then it’s nice to work with pine; going in the shop the next day smells like Christmas. It’s rather amusing that I can recognize pine, oak, maple, cherry and walnut all by smell.

I thought about adding color, but kinda grew attached to the natural pine.

The top boards are edge-glued, no biscuits. I’ve been practicing with my jointer and like the edge I’m getting from it these days.

-- Working at Woodworking

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