If you have found your way onto the “Woodworking Daily” blog list, it may have been via our free woodworking plans page. If not, be sure to check it out and download a few more, especially the latest one on Shaker style furniture that is packed with general information on end table plans, coffee table plans, dining table plans and an overall table plan template.
I like Shaker furniture because it plays well with other styles. That means it will withstand the style test over many years, no matter what other furniture you acquire or make. And if you make it right, Shaker style furniture will of course withstand the other damages that come with time. I mean wear and tear.
When it comes to tables, knowledge of basic woodworking joints is key to preventing wear and tear. Don’t worry. I’m not going to go into a treatise on joinery. But I do want to point you to a helpful blog post from Glen Huey for this particular Shaker table project. There are dozens of ways to complete mortise and tenon furniture. Glen has created a mortise and tenon jig that is cheap, works well and speeds the building process. So be sure to visit that post and download the tenon jig plan (free).
Once you’ve completed that dining table, come back to the original free download and re-read Bob Lang’s section on mortise and tenon furniture. I always find that these abstract views make a lot more sense after I have built something that includes the technique in question. This section on different types of tenons for furniture is valuable. Bob discusses not only the types, but why a woodworker uses them. Note for example that the mitered-end variety is not for creating a mitered joint within the joint, but rather to relieve a little extra space within the leg.
The other big takeaway from this project plan, in my opinion, is the discussion of wood movement. Wood movement always matters, but especially when dealing with a wide piece of stock or edge-joined surface. This section of the download can be useful not only in building tables, but also when you start to look at how to build a desk.
So, in summary, we have a few well-curated freebies on the download page – from woodworking ideas to wood furniture design – and we are adding more every few weeks. I’ll follow each upload with a post like this one to offer you a little more depth. Be sure to share this post with your woodworking friends so they can stay in the loop!