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Thread: Project Build: Narrow Office Side Table (video)

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Project Build: Narrow Office Side Table (video)

    Project Build: Office Side Table
    (video link at the bottom)

    I was asked to build a simple side table for one of the offices at church. They already had a desk, and needed a narrow side desk to go alongside the desk, to turn it into an L-shaped workstation.

    The goal was to keep this simple, quick, and inexpensive.

    This is the design that I came up with. I could get all I need to build this out of one sheet of plywood, with plenty left over. Well, that isn't quite true as I would also need some hardwood for edging.




    I was exceedingly fortunate, as I found some of the most beautiful straight grained oak plywood that I have ever seen. Not a single knot and no cathedrals either. It was all long straight lines of grain.

    My shop is not large, so I always have the store make the first cut in any plywood that I buy. This requires preplanning my projects, so I know where to have them make the cut.
    (Other woodworkers who give shop tours invariable mention "sheet goods storage" when showing off their shop. My sheet goods are stored at the lumber yard...)




    At home I ripped the plywood to give me the top, the back, and the two legs.
    I then crosscut the top and the legs to final length.



    I did not want to leave the legs as just rectangular pieces. You are far more likely to end up with a piece that rocks. It is far better to cut out smaller feet. I marked the center out, 6" up from the end, and laid out diagonals from that center down to the bottom, resulting in 3" feet.

    Then on the drill press I drilled out the two holes...



    ... and over on the bandsaw I cut along the diagonal to finish the roughing out of the sides/legs




    In keeping with the goal of quick-and-simple I drilled a series of pocket holes along the underside of the top, to make attaching the hardwood edging quick and simple.




    I love this miter sled. It is so easy to use, and so accurate. I used it for mitring the ends of the oak edging.




    Attach edging to top:




    …CONTINUED…
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
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    …CONTINUED…


    The edging for the legs was attached with glues and 23 gauge pins.



    It's no fun trying to get edging to be the perfect exact width. It's far easier to just make it a bit wide, and then trim it flush with a flush-trimming bit on your router table, as I did.



    I temporarily attached the legs and back to the top, each with just one screw.



    I then fitted reinforcing glue blocks into the corners. I screwed into these from the back and from the sides/legs. I figured that this would be stronger than just screwing into the edge of the plywood.



    I then removed the top from the legs, for final finishing. This includes a coat of shellac, and then several coats of polyurethane, each time lightly sanding between the coats.




    And after that I left it to harden for a few days before putting it together with all the screws. Some final photos follow, including one showing the side table in it's final location.










    More details are on my website at http://www.wordsnwood.com/2014/sidetable/

    Or you can watch a build video if you prefer — I did this one in “wordless workshop” style, so there is no talking at all.

    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  3. #3
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    Very nice Art. Your shop makes my own look huge. It must require a lot of planning and organization to work around the narrow space you have. I notice when doing larger projects that I find myself doing the shuffle dance. You know, moving items from one place to another in order to free up space to work.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
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    Art, thanks for sharing a great build. As best as I could tell you cut it all without measuring twice or doing a glue up on top of your table saw!

  5. #5
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    Beautiful color, easy deisgn, well made craftsmanship.

    You know that whoever is going to sit at this desk all day is going to wish they had a matching desk too, and a small bookshelf.

    I think the design and color and wood choice are are all very "Church".
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  6. #6
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    I will not complain about my shop ever again. Great job Art!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    Nice in all cases Art now a matching desk will complete it

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Very nice Art. Your shop makes my own look huge. It must require a lot of planning and organization to work around the narrow space you have. I notice when doing larger projects that I find myself doing the shuffle dance. You know, moving items from one place to another in order to free up space to work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I will not complain about my shop ever again. Great job Art!
    The camera is very wide angled, so it can fish-eye a bit if I get too close. But yeah, the shop is only about 10-1/2' wide...


    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Calver View Post
    Art, thanks for sharing a great build. As best as I could tell you cut it all without measuring twice or doing a glue up on top of your table saw!
    I decline to answer that comment on the grounds that it might incriminate me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Niemi View Post
    Nice in all cases Art now a matching desk will complete it
    Don't give him any ideas. My todo list is long enough.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  9. #9
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    Looks great and nice walk thru

    I've finally created enough room in my 20'x20' shop to handle full sheets, but I still have the borgs cut them down for me, if nothing else it makes getting them into the truck & shop a whole lot easier...my body is rolling down the backside of the hill faster than my age
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  10. #10
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    A perfect fit. What a great extension of workspace. Goals exceeded; simple, quick, inexpensive and beautiful.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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