Montreat Side Table
Comments 2

Montreat Side Table: More Templates

Remember two blog posts ago how I said it has not been a scorcher here in Alabama? I spoke too soon. It is now officially a scorcher and while some parts of the USA are enjoying more pleasing Fall weather, we are setting record high temperatures. As I write this (10/03/19), the temperature hit 103 degrees, a record for this date. Tomorrow is forecast to be 99 degrees. In fact, all week has been close to 100 degrees with several records set. Then the week upcoming we will see a couple of days with high temperatures in the upper 70s. What a contrast and I can’t wait for cooler temps.

So, it has been easy to find other things to do instead of being in my un-airconditioned workshop. But with my trusty box fan close by, I found some comforting wind in my workshop and I made a little progress on my side table.

The first of two new templates

I have a couple of items on the to-do list before I can begin sanding for pre-finishing my side table. First, make a unique angular shape on the stretchers and second, drill for shelf supports in four of the side slats.

I considered my options for cutting the angular shape for the stretchers and decided template routing was the best way for me. I considered cutting the material away with a bandsaw and then smoothing the cut, but in the end template routing would cut away the waste and also leave a mostly smooth surface. But this means I need to design and build a template.

Stretcher Jig Long

The template design for cutting angles on the stretchers.

Stretcher Jig Long2

Template “in use” view. Note the red edge on the template itself.

In the images above the stretcher is in blue and the template itself has a red edge which helps define the needed angle. With screws, I can move the temple forward or backward as needed to zero in on the correct position. The yellow and white components help lock the stretcher in place and the base extends outward left and right to give me some area for clamping the whole thing to my workbench (without interfering with the travel of my router). After positioning the white and yellow components, I lock them in place with hot melt glue and then add screws.

Below is the template in it’s actual rudimentary state. I again used throw away materials to make the template.


The actual template.


A smooth edge after just a little hand plane work.


Stretcher fabrication complete.

This moment has been one I have looked forward to because these angular shapes are signature elements in this table design.

The second template

This template is pretty simple. I need a way to precisely locate holes which will get dowels inserted into them to support the middle shelf. Precision is needed because if one or more of the holes is misaligned, the shelf will rock or move slightly. For adjustable shelves, I like to make a simple jig and use it as a template for my plunge router.

Montreat Side Table Final

Note the holes on the inside face of two side slats.

Originally, I designed the adjustable shelf with multiple potential locations. In reality, I can foresee needing just two different shelf heights. At some point in the future I plan to place the subwoofer for our home theater sound system in this table.


A very simple template.


Just two holes per slat.




Note the angular shape added to the stretchers.


The top edge has the opposite angle on each end.


All of the construction for the table is now finished except the drawer. It is time to prep the oak and walnut components for finish. I’ll plane and sand these parts and then choose a finish. Since Tom Monahan of General Finishes has conducted two presentations to the Alabama Woodworkers Guild, I am switching to General Finishes for all my stain and top coat products. But I still have not decided which General Finishes products I’ll use.

By the way, today (10/06/19) the high temperature will be just 88 degrees. Thankfully Fall like temperatures will be here soon. 🙂

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During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


  1. A bunch of my Woodworking buddies use Arm-R-Seal for hardwoods. I love their gel stain for pine. We also all love Rubiomonocoat…you should check them out if you haven’t! Extremely easy to use and no odor, except a slightly sweet smell. Looks great!!

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