Basic Side Table


Sawing the material to size.

Depending on what saw blade you have, in what directions the teeth are, the cut is ugly or clean on the side that you have towards you while sawing. I have read that if the sawblade’s teeth are tilted upwards it helps pull down the material towards the workbench you have it rest on while sawing but it also makes the upside ugly. So you have to score it with a knife before the cut to ease the pressure in the top layer of the plywood. This will make the cut slightly better on the upside as well.

We were off to a wonky start. Just trying out the fit of the pieces to see if I am even in the ballpark.

A beginner’s challenge. Just because I am a beginner I make these kinds of mistakes and so the entire process takes much longer because I have correct all these mistakes. Once I learn it goes faster and much smoother, and I do not have to figure out how to adjust according to my mistakes as much.

I decided that I wanted a partition as well. First and foremost for stability since I made this side table kind of long, but it is also functional because magazines are not as sturdy as books with hardcovers and so they need support to rest on.

I tried to figure out how to make a proper 90° corner without having a special clamp, and I think I did pretty well. 🙂

Then I bought special corner clamps and could then keep the entire piece together. It took me a good while to glue it together and then make all corners as perfect as I could, meaning aligning the materials in all directions.

I tried to find a way to make shallow holes into the plywood to lower down the screw’s heads without the plywood chipping too much. The carpenter who helps us out in our house has previously shown me how to do it with a large drill. It worked so so. I asked around among my classmates (which is new for me) and they gave me the tip to tape before drilling. It went so so as well. So I am still on the hunt for a good method.


Since I wanted to keep the material honest I did not fill in holes or gaps or scratches. I also taped the edges so that the beautiful layers of the plywood would be kept intact. It took some time to do. In the picture above I have painted the first layer of foundational paint.

Here I have painted the first layer of the paint color I went for. Farrow and Ball Dead Salmon, which for some reason showed up more cooled toned than on our walls in the house. I decided to use a roller to paint and so I managed to keep the structure of the wood. Even though I ended up painting three layers of paint and three layers of varnish the structure of the wood is still there, which I appreciate.

I was not satisfied with the paint color I had chosen at first so then I redid the painting on the outside with a slightly darker hue. It felt so much better.

Final Result

This is such a basic piece of furniture that I have made, and because of it, it has taught me so much. I need to be able to make these basic objects before I can move ahead to more complex things. I am trying my best to be patient and be OK with the fact that I am a beginner, I am a student, and I am learning and growing with each and every object that I make and when I try my best (current best) to solve the problems it provides. Honestly, I feel proud I have made this basic side table. 🙂 That is a new sensation. 😉

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