Ash Coffee Table/Side Table


In my last post about the non-jewelry boxes, which are basically jewelry boxes, I mentioned that while that I’d built a table for my coffee-maker in my office at work.  (Yes, I have a day job).  There really wasn’t a need for a table at work – after all, there was a filing cabinet that did a perfectly fine job as a stand for my coffeemaker.  And, in full disclosure, that’s all the filing cabinet did – it was otherwise empty.  Of course, when you like to build things you’re always on the hunt for something else to build that has use to you, so I decided that a table to replace that filing cabinet was in order.

So I built one.

If I had my way, I would have made the table from maple or walnut — I really prefer the look of those two, especially together.  I mean, who doesn’t love the grain and figure in walnut in maple?  But at the time I was launched into the project I had no maple, or hardly any at all, and what walnut I had was earmarked for something else.

Sure, I could have bought some walnut or maple and there you go, but I couldn’t justify it, not when I had some 8/4 ash in the workshop I’d bought early in the pandemic that I could use for legs, and also some 4/4 ash I could use for the top.  It made even more sense to use this wood up – or at least some of it – when you consider that given the 8/4 was nearly 10 foot long, I basically could only store it in a specific area in the shop because of the placement of the roof joists and rafters, which just happened to be right in the damn way.

Don’t get me wrong, though, in slagging ash – it’s a perfectly good wood, it’s just not my favorite.  It has a creamy color that I can’t really get behind when finished, and is often brittle to work with.  But, it’s also strong, and just because it’s not my favorite, doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you.

In the end, I had ash, so I used ash.

This is why I have an Ash Coffee Table. Which is really just a sidetable.

The construction of this table is intensely simple – it’s all mortise and tenon for the carcass of the table.  Of course, I couldn’t let it be entirely simple, because I went ahead and complicated it by making the mortise and tenons sliding dovetails.  Was there any good reason for this?  No.  Just wanted to experiment with it using the router. 

On the whole, the sliding dovetails were something of a success, but it didn’t come out nearly as perfect as I would have liked, owing to what I found brittle about the ash.  It all took a little bit of patience for the glue-up, but in the end it all came together and works fine for a coffeemaker.

in the end, everything came together, the project cleaned up nice, the drawer was built out of simple plywood, and so now, instead of setting my coffee maker on a filing cabinet like a monster, I have a table for it.

(Also in the picture of the table above  picture you can see a plant stand I made after my wife decided she wanted one in that style and I couldn’t stop myself making ten of them.  On the wall above it all you can also see the shelf I made from scraps of cherry my son left laying around for months in the workshop – it was waste to him, but useful to me.)

Also, if you like, visit my etsy page.  There may be new items to add coming soon.

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