I’ve been talking about building an entry table for our house for years. My wife has been asking me to build it for years. So, yesterday, I started building it!
Last October I built a TV cabinet, which I haven’t included on this blog yet (will have to do that), but I did cover the build on Instagram. It is built in the rustic cottage furniture style using rough recycled pallet wood, and finished with a semi-gloss dark stain.
This was meant to be the first of a set of furniture in this style. Next up, entry stand. I had spent numerous hours over quite a long time exploring the internet for ideas. The style wasn’t the issue, as that’s already been determined, but the size and functionality, especially considering the existing handicaps (the switch box and the corner pillar), had to be decided upon.
Step 1: The first job though was to dismantle the pallets I have been collecting. Most of them are all plywood, I haven’t touched them yet, but the pallet on the far left is solid wood, so an half an hour or more later I had it apart and ready to use.
Step 2: Using ideas from the Internet, plus my own thoughts, I started sketching a rough plan of what I wanted, by measuring out the space available to me. That corner pillar is annoying, I’m just going to have to cut the shelf lip around it I think.
Step 3: The rails that ran across the width of the pallet are perfect for the legs of the lower unit, and they were easily cut down to length.
Step 4: Next I cut the narrow pieces that are used to form the X’s in the sides and back of the lower section. Two lengths of wood were cut right up the middle to create the material needed for the X’s. They will be cleaned back later. Unlike the TV cabinet, I’m not filling this one in with plywood, the lower section will be completely open with top and bottom shelves. My idea is to find a nice fabric-lined basket to sit on the bottom shelf.
Step 5: I have a modest stock of wood leftover from previous pallets I’ve dismantled, and amongst it was a length of square-cut wood, and just enough of it to use as the top and bottom rails in the sides of the lower section. I then proceeded to measure and mark the cuts needed in the legs to insert the rails. A mistake that I made during the making of the TV cabinet was to fully half-lap the rails into the legs which meant that I had to add additional, and slightly unsightly rails to support the bottom and top of the cabinet. This time I decided to only embed the rails half their depth into the legs so that the rails would double as the supports for the bottom shelf and cabinet top.
Step 6: I watch a lot of videos of other woodworkers around the world, as well as reading magazines and so forth, and I’ve learned quite a few helpful tips along the way, and one of them is to cut diagonally from the top line to the bottom line to give the chiseling process a good head start. This helpful tip certainly makes for cleaner edges.
At this point in the build I just stopped and enjoyed the fact that the marking gauge, and the mallet, which I have made myself, were invaluable. It’s so satisfying making something, but even more satisfying making it with tools that you have made yourself.
Step 7: With all the jointing done it was time to test fit, and with only a tiny bit of shaving needed on both top rails everything came together very nicely. Once tested and proven I clamped and glued the side pieces, one at a time.
Step 8: At this point one of those brainless moments was revealed. I should’ve cut and installed the X’s before clamping! Anyway, easy fixed, and by this time the glue was already setting so no harm done. I removed the clamps on one of the side pieces and started cutting the wood for the X’s. This was done simply by overlaying the wood and drawing where I needed to cut, and for the most part that worked well, though occasionally some planing is needed to tidy them up. When both pieces were sitting nicely I marked the overlap in the centre, to cut half-lap joints. When I did these for the TV cabinet, I cut the sides with my tenon saw, and chiseled out the waste. However, when I visit my parents in Australia last November to help them get ready to move house Dad decided to give me a selection of woodworking tools, including is old Makita Trimmer/Router, along with a set of new bits from Aldi. This time I used the router to clean out the waste, which did a much better job. This wood tends to tear a little too easily, so the router ensured a quality joint. The X’s were glued and the entire side section re-clamped overnight.
Step 9: This morning I removed them from the clamps, and don’t they look good!
Next: continue working on the lower section (the cabinet), and then make a start on the upper section (the hutch).