Stuff I’ve built: The half-round entry table

This was a sweet little project I built a long time ago – back in 2001 when I was just a few years into woodworking.

Back then, the only wood I could afford to use was pine, and there was one book at my library that dealt with building pine projects – Bill Hylton’s Country Pine: Furniture You can Build with the Table Saw and Router. It was a great book for a rookie woodworker to get his or her hands on. Hylton offers a great selection of projects to choose from, and many practical shop tips to make your build a success.

One of the projects caught my eye, and would be an excellent way to learn some new techniques. His half-round table would be a great addition to my entryway.

This project is actually pretty sophisticated.  The three legs stand28 inches tall, and are tapered.  The right and left legs are tapered on the side that faces the room and the inside, and the middle leg is tapered on both of the sides… a little more involved.

Rather than a curved front rail, this table has a straight back rail and a mid rail that connects the front leg to the middle of the back rail. While Hylton suggested using mortise and tenon joints to make the connections, I went with sliding dovetail joints to get more mechanical strength.  Knowing now just how strong a mortise and tenon joint is, I may have been able to save myself a little bit of trouble.  But, hey, the joint worked.

The table top is made with a jointed pine board that was cut out using a jigsaw.  I traced a radius from a nail with a string and pencil.  Once I cut it out, I sanded the heck out of the edge to get it smooth.

Hylton’s project had a painted top and a clear finished base, but I decided to flip the script.  The top was sanded down to 220 grit sandpaper, and I put on three coats of brush on poly.  Surprisingly, it was one of the few projects I used that finish on that came out looking good.

The base was primed and painted with an acrylic latex paint in a “Wedgewood blue” type color.

Right now, the table holds a lamp, some pictures and my wife’s cell phone when she charges it.  This way, she has to wake up in the morning and get out of bed to silence her alarm instead of just hitting the snooze button.  It’s also a great place to stash one of the milk boxes that belonged to my grandfather’s dairy.

While I’m using fancier wood now, I still look at that old pine project and think back to the feeling of accomplishment I had when I put the finishing touches on it.


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