Introduction: White Oak Side Table in the Mission Style

This fall, our church was holding a gala dinner and fundraising auction. I agreed to contribute "something" to the auction, and this is the mission-styled table that I came up with.

I was first thinking something small and square for the entry or foyer, but quickly realized that a longer table was basically the same amount of work, and could be used as either a hall table, or an entry table, or a console table, or a sofa table, or a .... you get the idea!

I did some googling online and looked at a lot of different ideas. I found something similar to this, which I quite liked. I'm rather fond of mission styling, and I had some white oak already on hand. White oak is very often used in Mission or Craftsman style furniture. I then worked in sketchup to take that idea and produce a plan that suited the dimensions that I had in mind.

Step 1: Option: Video Build

If you would prefer, you can watch a video build. Otherwise, read on.

Step 2: Lumber Prep

I had picked up this white oak lumber back in the spring at a small mill north of town. I like dealing with small operations, and also it is fun to be able to tell someone that this was "locally grown" lumber.

I brought two boards in from the garage to acclimate for a few weeks before starting this project. This was about 17 board feet of lumber, in case you're wondering. (two boards, 10ft long, and about 9-10" wide.)

This was air dried lumber, so I was careful to check the moisture content before getting too far in the process. I wasn't that worried, as it had been well dried before I bought it, and it had sat in my garage for almost six months. It checked out at 8-9% (I tested in several places) which is fine.

Step 3: Top + Shelf

The first step was to make the top and the lower shelf, since those pieces would need to be glued up out of smaller boards to achieve the needed width.

My jointer is only 6" wide, so I can't joint 9" lumber. As well, the wood was a bit cupped across the width, so after cutting the wood down in length I split it on the bandsaw, before jointing and planing to final thickness.

I chose three peces for grain and colour and glued them up to make the top shelf. I repeated that (with two pieces) for the narrower bottom shelf. I could then move on to preparing the stock for the legs, side rails and long rails.

Step 4: Dowel Joinery

I'm using dowel joinery on this project. However the leg assemblies are a bit different than what I'm used to as I am putting dowels into the face of the board, rather than the edge. So I was careful to lay out all the piece as I wanted them, and then I left them there as I drilled the dowel holes. After each operation I brought the board back into it's position and then moved onto the next one. It's a simple way to try and avoid mixups.

Step 5: Square Spindles

There are three square spindles that are part of each of the side assemblies. Here I am notching the ends of one of the spindles, so that they can fit into the space between the top and bottom cross rails.

I drilled and countersunk pilot holes and then fastened the spindles in place with screws. I needed dark screws for this project, as it was going to be fairly dark once finished. So a bit of black paint was applied to the heads of the screws (and left to dry of course!) before they were installed.

Step 6: How to Attach the Top

The top is a wide board which will expand and contract throughout the year based on seasonal changes in humidity. One easy way to allow for that is to attach it to the base with metal table clips. They slip into slots, such as the one being ripped on the tablesaw in this photo, and then the other side is screwed to the the table top.

Step 7: Putting It All Together

Starting to put it all together. The two leg assemblies are connected together via the long rails using dowels. If you're confused, the table is upside down in that photo.

There are no lower rails. Rather, the lower shelf is used to connect the two leg assemblies together at the bottom. In this case it made sense to use pocket hole joinery to attach the shelf to the endsFor the finish I had decided I wanted something a bit different. I tried a few test pieces before I settled on using a Minwax Ebony stain. Yes, BLACK. It is a bit startling when you first wipe it on, but after you wipe off the excess it is a greyish tone with black highlights. A lot of the black settles into the grain lines and when the polyurethane is applied (next photo) it becomes a rich dark brown with black overtones. I think it looks pretty cool.

I applied 3-4 coats of polyurethane over most of the project, but several extra coats were applied to the top. In part I had a little issue with some bubbles, but mostly I like to put extra protection on the tops of tables. After it had hardened a day, I wiped on and buffed in some paste furniture wax on the two shelves. This added even more protection, and really brought out the shine.

Step 8: Finishing

For the finish I had decided I wanted something a bit different. I tried a few test pieces before I settled on using a Minwax Ebony stain. Yes, BLACK. It is a bit startling when you first wipe it on, but after you wipe off the excess it is a greyish tone with black highlights. A lot of the black settles into the grain lines and when the polyurethane is applied (next photo) it becomes a rich dark brown with black overtones. I think it looks pretty cool.

I applied 3-4 coats of polyurethane over most of the project, but several extra coats were applied to the top. In part I had a little issue with some bubbles, but mostly I like to put extra protection on the tops of tables. After it had hardened a day, I wiped on and buffed in some paste furniture wax on the two shelves. This added even more protection, and really brought out the shine.

Step 9: Final Assembly

The final step in this project is to attach the top to the base with those previously mentioned table clips.

Step 10: Closing Photos

Here is a photo album of the finished piece.

Thanks for reading. For more projects, going back years, please visit my woodworking web site at www.wordsnwood.com

Items used in this build (Affiliate Links)

Metal Table Clips/Fasteners (I used something similar)

Dowelmax Dowel joinery kit

Dowelmax 1/4" guides (goes with the above kit)

Comments

author
DanL63 (author)2016-12-27

simple elegant lines. nice design!

author
Kentish (author)2016-02-21

That makes sence, mine is a mission end table

author
Kentish (author)2016-02-21

I actually just built this style of table just larger

author
wordsnwood (author)Kentish2016-02-21

I thought about stretching it longer to be a sofa table, but decided that a compact table would do better in the auction, as it would work for more people's living situations.

author
rafununu (author)2016-02-19

Beautiful !

I didn't know this style's name but I loved it.

author
jonesaw (author)2016-02-18

this is great, I love mission style!

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Bio: I build, I write, I film... Mostly a woodworker.
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