Thorsen House Side Table

A small project that’s big on details.
By David Thiel
Pages: 36-39

From the February 2007 issue #160
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?I’ve always appreciated the look of furniture designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene. Though often equated with the Arts & Crafts movement at the beginning of the 20th century, their furniture designs reflect an Asian influence that softens the often hard lines of Arts & Crafts furniture. While looking for a piece to build, I was talking with Robert W. Lang, senior editor for Popular Woodworking and author of the just-published “Shop Drawings for Greene & Greene Furniture” (Fox Chapel). He suggested adapting a small side table originally made for the Thorsen House in Berkeley, Calif.

The cutouts on the aprons quickly won me over, but I did make a couple modifications that lightened the look of the table. Rather than a full-width shelf captured between two straight stretchers, I opted to make the stretcher with a top-and-bottom cloudlift design and make the shelf only half the width of the original. I also added some 1/16″ quirk details to the corners of the legs and the edges of the aprons, stretchers and the shelf. These “rabbets” add a simple shadow line to a very pleasant design.

From the February 2007 issue #160
Buy this issue now

Here’s a link to the full-page plan as promised in the magazine.