Odds, ends, and End Tables

It has been a busy and emotionally overwhelming few weeks for me, so there hasn’t been too much woodworking going on in my shop.  I have been out of town for work more than I have been home since the beginning of the year.  Thankfully, busy season for my work is almost over and my schedule should settle down somewhat.  On top of being out of town, one of our two pugs , Piglet was diagnosed with cancer at the end of January.  Since my wife and I don’t have children, the pugs are our kids.   Last Saturday morning, we lost our baby and have been trying to deal with the loss.

Our goofy little princess, Piglet.

On the weekends that I have been home, I have tried to putter around a little in the shop.  I was able to get a backsaw restored, sharpened, and ready to go to work.  I also have started to get back to the Arts and Crafts End Table project I started a year ago and put on hold for a basement remodel (that still hasn’t happened yet).

The first step that I took was to create a storey stick for the project.  A storey stick, for those of you who don’t know, is simply a stick with the locations of the major elements of a project marked on it.  The stick is then used to transfer any dimensions, spacing, etc. to the actual work piece without the use of a ruler.  This helps to make the dimensions more accurate because it eliminates measuring errors from the process.  Layout lines can be transferred by either using dividers between elements on the storey stick or by directly marking the work piece from the storey stick.

For my storey sticks, I use a square stick that is about 3/4″ – 1″ on each side.  All the layout lines for a particular dimension (the height, width, and depth) are made on a single side of the stick.  So, my stick has one side that is for the height of the tables, one for the width, and one for the depth.  I could, and may, add layout for the workings of the drawers on the fourth side or on another stick.

After I made the storey stick, I glued up the panel for the top of one of the tables.  One of my boards was bowed, so I had to do some extra planing to get the top flat.  Here is a photo of the first two boards I picked to make the top.

Our goofy little princess

In the next two photos, you can see the unevenness caused by the bowed board.


Here are photos of the top after the initial flattening.  There is a little tear out that I will have to try to plane or scrape away.  The first photo also includes the storey stick I am using.


And finally, here is a photo of the top showing the grain pattern of the wood.  I think it will turn out really nice.IMAGE_779  

I hope to make some more progress on the tables during the next few weeks, and I will update the blog as I do; I just don’t know how much shop time I will have.

Until then. . .

2 thoughts on “Odds, ends, and End Tables

  1. handmadeinwood


    We call them ‘Rods’ and I use them all the time.
    Generally, if I make a set of chairs, for example, the first one in the run, will be the rod from which all the others are marked.
    I saw a very old bookcase some years ago in an auction, where the maker had made a rod and then incorporated it out of sight in the back; there it was with all his old pencil and knife marks.

    All best from Wales

    1. Phil Day Post author

      Thanks for sharing. I always find it interesting to find out what terms are used for things outside of the U.S. I hate to measure anything when I’m woodworking, so using storey sticks or rods are my preferred method of making sure parts are the same size. They are especially useful when you may need to build a project again in the future.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s