Ikea Side-Table Kitbash

5 Jan

My wife picked up this $20 side-table from Target or someplace and plopped it in our entry hall.  I have mixed opinions about some of that cheapo furniture.  It’s made out of real wood (even if it is joined off-cuts), and they’ve learned how to make them less flimsy than they used to be.  Still.  I can do better.

I decided to redo the top and the drawer.  I’m not sure I like the combination of woods, but it was a good chance to practice matching up a nice top.  I really wanted to practice at that, because I think one of my biggest problems in making really nice furniture is that somehow my brain’s number one concern always seems to be to end up with the smallest possible scrap pile, rather than producing the nicest possible output.  So I figured here was a single, simple thing to practice changing my mindset…

You’ll no doubt notice that the top has quite a few knots on it…  So I didn’t exactly achieve my original objective.  But if you looked at the bottom of this panel, you’d see it was pretty free of knots and the grain matches a little better…  Yep.  And it’s also got that giant divot I made with a hand-plane…


So the top is an exercise in wood filler.  It still looks pretty good, and most of the fills stand up to close inspection.  (There were about ten places that are filled on that top, including fills on both the front and back edges).

The outside of the drawer looks pretty good.  I’m happy with that.  The strap is walnut and the end pieces are Bubinga, which is a close match to the original piece.

Click the photo for a higher rez image.


You know I love Norm Abrams and all, but I swear, every time he pulled out his dovetail jig, did something, and said “Perfect results, every time!”  I wanted to chuck a cement block through the TV.  I dovetailed the drawers with a new-to-me Leigh jig and, well, there were issues.  (Not the least being because I didn’t have quite the right bit for the job, I had to swap out the collar to make a fit.)

Anyway, much fiddling later, I have some dovetails that came out sortof okay.  I’ve never made a perfect result from a dovetail jig, like ever.  Ah well.  More practice.


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