A small table from scrap pieces

small table by Todd Fillingham, all rights reserved

I had intended to post part II of the Three Rivers series before posting about anything else, but it has been some time since I’ve posted about furniture and I’ve just finished this new piece so I thought I’d sneak this post in now.

We needed a table of just the right height to hold a fan in our bedroom window at home.  Although I am in the midst of a pretty big project just now I thought I’d check out a few of my scrap piles to see if there was anything there to inspire me.



And, while I was at it, maybe I’d check out the paint locker and see what was lurking in there.


Here’s what caught my eye:

A couple of pieces of MDF, some interesting walnut cut-offs and a nice green latex paint.

A couple of pieces of MDF, some interesting walnut cut-offs and a nice green latex paint.

I glued up the MDF pieces into a block 1-1/2″ thick-


Cut the walnut cut-offs to a uniform length-


Then drew a pleasing curve to shape the legs.


I cut out the first leg, used it as a pattern to trace out the other two, cut them on the bandsaw and sanded the curved cut.




Next I created a guide for my router to cut out the mortises into the top that would hold the legs.


The legs were rounded over on the router table on the long straight face.


I used a variety of implements to draw out a pattern for the top, created a template for 1/2 of the top, transferred that shape onto the top, flipping over the template to get the other half so that the curves would be symmetrical and shaped the top.




I wanted to create an interesting joint detail where the legs met the top. I did some sketching and decided that the top should have its bottom edge rounded. This was done on the big shaper, a finger chewing machine if there ever was one.


I managed to get the top rounded with out loosing any fingers and proceeded to cut the mortises on the under side of the top using the jig I had created earlier.


I adjusted the fit of the legs into the mortises by carefully sanding down their final thickness.


You can start to see what this table will look like at this stage. I still need to square off the round corners left by the router bit in the mortises. I did this by hand using a sharp chisel.


Now I was able to see if the joint detail came out like I had hoped.


OK, this was what I wanted. A look as if the legs were cradling the top. This is reminiscent to me of the original tripod that held a bowl or tray from eons ago.

And here’s the table before finishing:


I painted the top, glued in the legs, rubbed on some of my special oil/ varnish mix and the table was complete.


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4 thoughts on “A small table from scrap pieces

  1. Great use of scrap wood! What glue did you use to bind the two pieces of MDF together? I use Titebond III when I am gluing. I tried others but didn’t like the results or the clean up. I will keep checking back and good luck with the other projects. Staying cooling is always important.

    Wine Wood Creations

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