Sassafras Side Table

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Project by BillG posted 03-03-2014 02:37 PM 1564 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a side table made out of sassafras that I picked up a couple of years ago. It was a yard tree that was taken down and sawn into boards. I have made few projects from the wood and really like the way it works. The look is similar to ash, however, it is softer and the color is light brown with interesting cinnimon burls sprinkled through out the wood. In the picture of the top, I highlighted the swirled grain and burls.

I know the proportions of the table are a bit off, but the size of the piece is specific to where is will be placed. I also wanted a deeper drawer which created the larger than normal aprons. When in place, you will only be able to see the top and front as it will be in a corner between a sofa and a wall.

The piece was built using an mix of machines and hand tools. I used hand cut dovetails in the drawer and cross stretcher on top of the drawer opening, and regular mortise and tendon joinery is used for the rest of the stretchers. The drawer pull is mahogany and uses four pieces of wood in it construction. There is a recess on the bottom of the pull for a finger catch and is attached with a thru mortice and wedged in place.

I finished it with a final sanding to 220 grit and used amber shellac as a seal coat followed by three coats of General Finishes “Enduro-Var” in a satin level of gloss. The Enduro-Var is an exceptional water based finish. I think it superior to most other water based finishes. I have used it in the brush on form as well as the spray. I both cases I have been impressed.

If you get a chance, build something with sassafras, I am sure you will like it as much as I do.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

3 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4157 days

#1 posted 03-03-2014 02:40 PM

This is a nice clean design and looks to be solidly built. It’s a beautiful table.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 3972 days

#2 posted 03-06-2014 03:59 AM

Nice crisp lines , looks good and love the rounded corners ( kid friendly ) . Nice work !

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3466 days

#3 posted 03-10-2014 03:41 PM

Looks great and well made. The wood has pretty grains and like the great finish. Great work!

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