A Table for Every Occasion

The invention of the table is a great idea. The first person to realize that stuff could be put at their fingertips, rather than having to bend over to retrieve it, probably had a sore back and knew there had to be a better way. Also, sitting on the ground to eat was getting old, but that’s about the chair, not a table. Hmm, which came first – the chair or the table?

To keep it simple, this book is about the table. We’ve compiled 35 projects from Popular Woodworking Magazine and Popular Woodworking Books. Each project is unique, all are functional and each one serves a specific need or desire on the part of the original designer. Does a table need fancy curved legs (or in the case of a couple projects – no legs at all) or to be made of wood? Nope, but once a need is fulfilled, it’s the nature of creative people to be, well, creative.

There’s something for everyone in this book. But, to be fair, most of the projects require intermediate to advanced woodworking skills. The first project is a portable writing desk like Thomas Jefferson might have used. Back then when folks traveled, they took their packed luggage and a laptop writing desk. They wrote letters, journals and stories as they traveled. When they got to where they were going, they would probably encounter a Queen Anne dining table, maybe a Shaker trestle table or a Shaker drop-leaf table.
Nowadays, we still eat at a table, we put our overnight stuff on a small table by our bed and toss magazines on a coffee table. All these are projects in this book.

Oh, let’s don’t forget game tables. We’ve a few for you to choose from. There’s a checkers/chess table, a Porringer side table that could be used to play cards and it’ll hold your drinks without them getting in the way.
We’ve got round tables, square tables, rectangular tables, glass-topped tables. There are tables with no legs, one table with one leg (well, it has one big foot), a table with three legs, several with four legs, one with five legs and one with six (though it could be made with up to 20) legs. A couple tables are U-shaped, one has a continuous leg (really, it has no beginning and no end) and one table  is made from strips of wood using only butt-joint joinery.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to work with veneers and inlays, how to make cabriole and tapered legs and how to make a table out of a slab of wood. Some tables have drawers and one has a lower shelf so you can stash stuff out of way the quickly when surprise guests show up at your door.

Start with the first project, start in the middle or work your way backward through the book, it doesn’t matter. Each project is unique and stands on its own two (or three or whatever) feet.

To whet your interest , the book will be out n mid-July , we’ve included the table of contents (this isn’t one of the table projects) for “The Table Book.” Also, click on the highlighted projects below to view these projects online for free. Enjoy!

Portable Writing Desk
Classic Shaker Candle stand
Thorsen House Side Table
Round Taboret
Marble-Top Art Deco Table
Greene & Greene Garden Table
Gustav Stickley Poppy Table
The Lost Stickley Table
Ribbon Table
Tornado Table
Limbert Tabourette
Greene & Greene Side Table
Stickley Side Table
Porringer Side Table
Coffee Table
Slipper-Foot Tea Table
Two Tub Tables
Prairie-style Coffee Table
Butler Tray Table
Plywood Nesting Tables
Great Danish modern Table
Maloof-style Table
Game Table
Nakashima-inspired Table
Federal Inlay Table
Baltimore Card Table
Creole Table
Draw-Leaf Game Table
Asian Bedside Table
Queen Anne Side Table
Shaker Drop-Leaf Table
Modern Occasional Table
Queen Anne Dining Table
Shaker Trestle Table
Greek Key Desk

- Jim Stack
Senior Editor Popular Woodworking books

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