Craftsman Library Table

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Project by David White posted 12-11-2011 07:42 AM 7519 views 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this is my first ‘real’ furniture project and the first one that I have felt worthy of a posting on Lumberjocks.

It is a Craftsman / Arts and Crafts style library table in American white oak. The plans call for it to be quarter sawn timber, but that turns out to be very difficult to get in New Zealand so this is flat sawn. The drawer sides are Radiata pine.

I made this table from plans in issue 73 of Australian Woodsmith magazine, but I have also seen them on the Plans Now website.

I made the top about 75mm (3”) longer than the plans stated in order that it better fit in this alcove in our hall way. Now it’s in place I think that was a mistake and I plan to take the top off and cut it down to the proper size.

The finish is 3 coats of BLO followed by 3 coats of wax. I realise that this is not the most durable finish that there ever was.

Frankly I bit off more than I could chew with this project as it’s really a tad too complex for a beginner like me. Although I am happy with the way it turned out, there are definitely a few things that I could do better if I were to do it again.

Probably the main lessons learned are as follows:

Firstly, if your shop time is limited, pick smaller projects. This one took me a year to complete and frankly I was getting bored with it by the end of that period. It took a couple of months just to hand cut all the mortises.

Secondly, when you are milling the timber, if you see you have one piece that is a really different colour to the rest, put it on one side and use it for another project. Also, buy more timber than you think you will need.

Finally, stick to the plans. Every time I deviated from the plans I ended up making more work for myself.


12 comments so far

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 3866 days

#1 posted 12-11-2011 08:23 AM

Well David I think you did just fine, first time or not. I hardly ever use plans. I’ll get ideas from plans most of the time but rarely adhere to them in the strictest sense.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6542 posts in 4270 days

#2 posted 12-11-2011 08:33 AM

Nice job on the table. I like the corbels and hardware choices. The table is well proportioned as well. Great job!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5201 days

#3 posted 12-11-2011 03:24 PM

Very nice, David. I think the flat sawn white oak and the natural finish give the piece a more modern look. The Craftsman details make this design a good looking desk, no matter what type lumber you use. Looks like you have one happy customer there anyway. Thanks for the post.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4524 days

#4 posted 12-11-2011 03:51 PM

Very nice , great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View ed220's profile


627 posts in 4850 days

#5 posted 12-11-2011 04:09 PM

very nice table. Good job.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 5047 days

#6 posted 12-11-2011 05:25 PM

Very nicely built, I like it.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Bob Cox Jr's profile

Bob Cox Jr

4 posts in 3815 days

#7 posted 12-12-2011 02:54 AM

Nicely done. My eyes went directly to the drawer handles—where did you get them?

-- Hoot Owl Creek Wood, Hoot Owl Creek, Indiana

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 4737 days

#8 posted 12-12-2011 04:01 AM

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Bob – the handles came from a local company called Knobs ‘n Knockers. Their website is at, although I can’t see these specific handles on the online catalogue.

If you really want some, PM me and I’ll pop in and get the product code for you.


View dpow's profile


504 posts in 4301 days

#9 posted 12-12-2011 04:34 AM

Nice looking table David. After completing a great project like this, you can’t call yourself a beginner any longer. You will find out that you learn something new in every project you do – thats the fun of it. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 5480 days

#10 posted 12-13-2011 05:32 AM

Very nice!! Beautiful table. You should be proud. I guess it really wasn’t too complex because you completed it very well.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5034 days

#11 posted 12-13-2011 06:41 AM

View andyboy's profile


566 posts in 4730 days

#12 posted 12-26-2012 07:56 AM

And a very nice first project. Fantastic mate, love it!!

-- Andy Halewoodworker. You can't finish if you don't finish. So finish it, because finish is everything.

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