Curious about just what it takes to build an end table out of recycled fence materials?
The Anatomy of an End Table
As with the "Redwood Fence Table," It all started with the same neighor's fence. He was replacing it because at 50 years old, it was
falling apart. First, (after pulling a gazillion nails) all of the boards went through a planer to remove just the worst of the roughness
but carefully leaving just the right amount of the original years of paint. Then the best ones were selected, cut to width, and then
into the angled pieces shown clamped together above. Each piece had a groove cut into each side for the spline that would
secure the pieces together into one solid table-top. That process is shown above. These assemblies were made twice
the length of the individual tables and cut to size later.
After an overnight dry, the two side assemblies were carefully trimed to length and width on a table saw.
At left are the two sides all trimmed to final size. Then each side got a groove, again for a spline that runs
the length of the table, securing the two sides firmly together. The grooves are visible in the right photo
above. Glue-and-spline joints like these are among the strongest possible connections in woodworking.
At right, the assembled top has been secured to the support framework that stiffens the top.
After the glue dried, the assembled top was once again trued to square on all sides.
Here, the two sides of each top have been glued together with the splines securing the connection.
At right, each top has been glued and securely screwed to its foundation made of poplar with its
individual pieces also splined and glued. This top is now a super-strong single piece that will
never warp, crack, or split. All that remains is to install the edge trim.
At left, the completed steel leg assemblies. The legs all get fitted with oak plugs and felt pads for floor protection.
At right, the first test assembly to make sure all the pieces align correctly and are square when installed. Also
visible in this photo are the panels with the hardwood drawer slides installed.
Success on the first try! The signature and maker's comments are visible here.
The drawers slide on hardwood glides and have walnut-veneer bottoms.
The finished product! The tables are finished with four coats of satin marine
spar varnish. This is a super-durable finish that is impervious to water
and alcohol and withstands many years of use and abuse.
No need for coasters on this table.
An certainly no worries if anyone should decide to sit on it!
The designer and maker's goal with these pieces is to offer furniture that is
cutting-edge in retro-repurposed-chic design, but designed and built
with craftsmanship and integrity. The fit and finish is like that
of fine furniture, yet the casual ambiance remains intact.
My shop and studio are located in Forestville, California, about an hour's drive
north of San Francisco. Feel free to contact me any time during working
hours by phone or email. We can deliver large pieces.