Ebonized Oak Shadow Box End Table

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Project by Chad posted 01-14-2013 03:35 AM 5085 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an end table I made a few years ago—it is solid oak with pocket screw joinery (with plugs) and a 1/4 inch glass top. I started the finish using the vinegar and steel wool ebonizing trick, but wasn’t happy with the color (a little too purple), so I covered it with a dark brown oil-based stain, and then finished with lacquer and wax. The display box is removable, made of solid oak and oak ply with dadoes for the dividers. Hardware is oiled bronze—I love the inset flip-up handle.

I love the way the finish turned out, the hardware, and the grain pattern on the front edge. We change the contents with the seasons, but right now, it’s seashells, driftwood, and wine corks.

Looking back, I would not have made the tray removable—there’s really no point, and it moves when the kids crash into it. I also would have made the legs bigger (but without a table saw or planer I had to choose 1.5 or 2.5” square).

-- Chad in Charleston, SC,

6 comments so far

View Natalie 's profile


367 posts in 2528 days

#1 posted 01-14-2013 03:53 AM

I like the shadow box in the coffee table design, and the stain does really highlight the grain pattern.

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2870 days

#2 posted 01-14-2013 04:19 AM

Looks very nice, very cool.

The box just sits in there? So it can slide from side to side when the kids hit it? If that is the case there is an easy solution, just add a couple of dowels and it will stay put.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View Chad's profile


20 posts in 3406 days

#3 posted 01-14-2013 06:08 PM

Thanks- I like the dowel idea and may do that. I made this a few years ago, when the only real tools i had were a handheld circular saw and a trim router. I’ve come a long way since then but haven’t gone back to lock that tray down.

-- Chad in Charleston, SC,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30475 posts in 2899 days

#4 posted 01-14-2013 06:26 PM

Like the design, really love the wood.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View je_superfly's profile


74 posts in 2671 days

#5 posted 06-09-2013 12:18 AM

I’ve been searching for a solution to a “photograph” display table and am very excited I found your project! I think your idea for your table top will help me a lot. Mind if I “borrow” it? Great looking project! Also, hello from your lumberjock neighbor in Summerville!

-- -James, Sumerville SC

View Chad's profile


20 posts in 3406 days

#6 posted 06-09-2013 02:03 AM

Happy to help—don’t mind a bit if you copy it. I actually just sold this table, and the customer wanted a solid bottom instead of the dividers….and now my wife wants a new table.

-- Chad in Charleston, SC,

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