This is one of my favorite builds. It's simple, straightforward, uses a single board, teaches bridle joints, packs flat, and the design is one that everyone seems to enjoy. The appearance of the thin top is a great design trick that I was happy to learn. I first built a table out of pine, to work out any likely errors on my part. Thankfully there were only a few. I learned to pay closer attention to the thickness of the top, to avoid the threaded inserts creating a small bump on the top of the table. I had moderate success with the bridle guides, but eventually decided to freehand those cuts. I think that was the right choice, to better locate the joints (and I can now quickly cut a decent bridle joint, thanks to this project). I eventually landed on red oak for the final table, and plan to build several more in the future. This is a great series that I'd highly recommend.
Building the first side table in poplar gave me the confidence I needed to try this out with more expensive lumber. So here is my 2nd table out of oak with slightly altered dimensions and with ebonized legs. It was so much fun to build this a 2nd time. Last time I used the 4 guides to cut the bridle joints. This time, I used a single guide for both sides of the mortice and then hand-fitted each of the tenons. It was a bit longer, but I really like the perfectly centered joints. Finally, I had some issues with ebonizing and with the top coat, but I managed. What an amazing series! Next up, I will be trying my hand at the danish stool!
After spending around two years fooling around with hand tools and wood in the basement (without producing any usable furniture), I was about to give up. This side table series empowered me to finally produce working, functional and beautiful furniture. I built this first one with poplar and finished it with water-based polyurethane (leftovers from a previous dead end). The result isn't quite a sexy as ebonized oak, but I'm really proud and my 4 year-old is really happy with his new night stand :-)
Very happy with my first stool (I feel more to come in the near future). There have been many moments trying to work out angles and things I will do better next time. Thank you Richard, I could not have done this without you. Note the side-table project photo-bombing!
This side table in cherry was a great project to build so many essential skills. It was my first real piece of furniture to grace my home built by own hands.
Starting from barely being able to put up a shelf I cannot believe I've made this! very scruffy in parts and took me ages but I learned loads. The bridle joints were a lot trickier than I thought they'd be and not sure I got the ebonising quite right but onwards and upwards now! Thanks a lot for the excellent videos, keep up the fantastic work!
Happy with the build (&enjoyed it) but defects in my oak board forced me to match the oak unsatisfactory. I didn’t use the bridle guides as after making 20 sets my saws still drifted so cut them by hand.Didn’t realise how difficult bridle joints were! Wanted to ebonise but the wife wouldn’t let me due to furniture matching! Will do one day.
2nd project after my English workbench was supposed to be the spoon rack, but then i put my hand on some oak boards... So here's my side table instead! Another great learning curve, much went well (i was delighted with my initial glue joint for the top!), some less so (bridle joints...). As others have noted, i struggled a bit with the bridle guides, partly because they require (i now realise...) very precise thicknessing of the aprons and legs, and mine were a bit out here and there. Lesson learnt. Oak is not quite as easy and satisfying to work as i'd expected - oddly brittle and very hard not to tear out, compared to softwood or ash, and despite all the raising of grain and sanding, some grain still trying to pop out in the finished piece! Also i found that he grain changed direction frequently over the thin boards, so even over the length of the top, it was very hard to smooth the whole thing to perfection without causing issues in one corner or another, and lots of tail chasing ensued! I love the ebonised finish - that one is a banker, but I've used Osmo on a couple of pieces now, and not sure I've worked out how to get the best out of it, just seems a little 'flat', even with past wax over the top. Still learning. Anyway, another very enjoyable series and onwards and upwards....
Righty then, it's time for a Norwegian version of the side table! In oak, with aprons and legs ebonized darker than a midwinter night in the north. A brew of tea strong enough to remove paint helps the process. The madness is described here: https://fagerjord.org/woodworking-projects/furniture/2802/ The outdoor image is of course taken in sunny weather, to keep up with tradition. Dedicated to two wonderful people: Richard and Helen Best regards, Vidar F. Harboe, Norway.
Thanks so much for the plans and the video. The quality of the video and the instruction are fantastic. I had to abandon the guides. The saw seemed to wander off line in the bottom 1/8 or so of the cut. I tried different stances and different saws, but just couldn’t fix the drift. I’m sure it’s pilot error. Finally, I decided to fight that battle another time. I marked the joints out and cut them free hand. Any trouble shooting tips would be appreciated. The top is red oak, according to plan. The base is cherry because I ran through my oak supply in the aforementioned difficulties. The ebonized cherry took on a more mottled appearance which I actually like. It has some red and gray tones that give it some warmth. It doesn’t really show up in the picture. The Osmo finish was just the thing. It feels fantastic. I feel much more confident in my ability and I’m looking forward to building this table a mate!