Mom's tiny end table . . . or mini piano bench ;-)

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Project by lightweightladylefty posted 06-29-2011 04:04 AM 5686 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last month I was blessed to be able to serve my parents for three weeks while Mom recuperated from a broken clavicle and leg. During that time, Mom said she would like a small table to set beside her recliner. Since Dad doesn’t have many woodworking tools, I made her an extremely temporary “table” from a 10” x 18” piece of hard maple and a short piece of 2” x 6” stacked on a small metal plant stand.

While I had access to high-speed internet at their home, I downloaded the new version of SketchUp and designed this very simple table for Mom.

Her requirements were that it needed to be approximately 24” long by 10” wide by 20” tall. She also insisted that it have no nooks or crannies that needed to be dusted. I added the storage area because I just can’t see a reason for furniture that doesn’t have multiple uses. Mom still does a great deal of crocheting while sitting in her recliner so I made the inside deep enough to store rolls of crochet cotton. I also felt that she needed some place to keep a few crochet hooks so I made a tiny tray which rides in a rabbet on the top edge of the apron. (First, I made the larger tray but thought it was too big, but I gave it to her, too, so she can do with it as she pleases.)

The 4/4 oak was milled off our property. The legs were made from 8/4 oak (sold as 2” x 6” x 8’ studs for $2.00 each). I had to purchase hinges since I didn’t have any that were small enough, but sufficiently heavy for the top. The two hinges were 31 cents with tax! It ended up being a pretty economical table!

When I got back to my shop, I wanted to get it done quickly so I really pushed myself and finished it (and my brother's tray table) in about two weeks. The slowest part was drying varnish with a week of rain and high temperatures in the 50s!

I inscribed it on the inside with a note to Mom and on the bottom with my name (just in case it lasts more than a generation)! I haven’t woodburned much since my teen years (which was a couple of years ago) and I just couldn’t seem to follow a line on that cheap lauan plywood, so I ended up free-handing the lettering.

Even though there is nothing special about the table, it seems to fill her need so I consider the project a success! Thanks for taking a look.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

13 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16282 posts in 4548 days

#1 posted 06-29-2011 04:10 AM

Excellent job, and the inscription is a great touch.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dusty56's profile


11838 posts in 4018 days

#2 posted 06-29-2011 11:26 AM

It looks great from here…nice size , Oak grain and color and totally functional to boot !
I hope your Mom is doing well : )

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

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4596 days

#3 posted 06-29-2011 01:58 PM

Another superb project. You certainly have a knack for designing functional and beautiful furniture. Your speed is impressive too. How long have you been seriously interested in wood working?

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 3626 days

#4 posted 06-29-2011 02:03 PM

I like it, nice work L\W

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you [email protected]

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2786 posts in 3922 days

#5 posted 06-29-2011 02:18 PM

Very nice, Two tables in one. You have been a very busy Lady. Very nice Craftsmanship!

-- Dennis Zongker

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3326 posts in 4042 days

#6 posted 06-29-2011 04:22 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement.

Bently, I even managed to figure out a little sled to run the legs through the drum sander after I tapered them on the TS. It sure beat hand sanding and it was a lot more uniform as well.

Mom is doing remarkably well—thanks for asking. We helped them with a few more things this week and will be heading back home again so they’ll be on their own.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3408 days

#7 posted 06-29-2011 09:01 PM

Your first one was ingenious. I’ve alwys liked the straight line design in furniture, but while they look simple, it can be demanding to make in terms of accuracy and attention to detail. You did good, LWLL!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View janice's profile


1120 posts in 3755 days

#8 posted 06-29-2011 09:03 PM

Very nice table, it even flips open. She’s gonna love it! What did you do with the temporary one? Just courious. I’m glad your mom is doing good too!

-- Janice

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3400 days

#9 posted 06-29-2011 09:43 PM

That’s areal nice job when your Mums better you’ll have to build her the piano

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3326 posts in 4042 days

#10 posted 06-30-2011 04:47 AM

Janice and LittlePaw, The first table was a little precarious since it was merely stacked together, so I took the wood back out to the garage and the little metal plant base is still in the house so Mom can put a plant back in it. (It just has a round opening for a pot to fit in.)

Trevor, Mom just got rid of the piano to my youngest sister less than a year ago (downsizing finally at age 92). I have the other piano we had as kids which was my very first venture in furniture stripping when I was a young teenager. It’s a 1926 Howard grand that had a black laquer finish that had crackled. I stripped it and my dad helped me sand it. After all the strings started breaking, they got another piano and moved the grand into the garage. When I had a house fire some years later and lost my Everett, I “inherited” the Howard and had it rebuilt. Mom probably doesn’t want another piano around (since she never learned how to play, but I certainly do miss having one when I’m there for more than a couple of days)! As slow as I am, Mom would be 130 before I got it done . . . IF I had that kind of talent! And, by the way, the table was extremely comfortable as a bench ;-) !

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3153 days

#11 posted 06-30-2011 10:35 AM

Concept, design, produce, very nice job L/W
You are one very tallented Lady out in the shop (& on the design tablet) :)))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3326 posts in 4042 days

#12 posted 06-30-2011 06:21 PM


Thanks for the nice compliment. Your woodturning far exceeds any skill I will ever hope to have!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View vahid's profile


169 posts in 3124 days

#13 posted 01-13-2012 07:31 AM

It is simple but lovely. Its finish is warm and natural.

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