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Arts and Crafts Side Table Woodworking Plan

Today I launch my sixteenth woodworking plan. This new plan, titled You Can Build the Gustave Side Table details the construction of a side table in a style which I call “Craftsman Lite”. The design blends basic elements found in Arts and Crafts furniture, but some of the classic A & C details are missing. Details like exposed joinery, ebony accents the look of mass and bulk like what you see in Stickley furniture. My home is pretty traditional and something like a full-blown Greene and Greene style table wouldn’t fit the overall style of our home. But a more mild version of Arts and Crafts furniture would. And that is the goal with this design.

And this plan will be the first in a long time to be a paid one. If I am going to continue to explore making higher quality plans, I am going to have to start making some money to help pay for the software upgrades I need. I still have fifteen free plans, but new plans going forward will be paid ones.

Preview the plan in the slideshow below…

The Gustave Side Table measures 26-1/16″ tall by 25-1/4″ wide and is 17″ deep. It is intended to be a bedside table, but could easily be altered to work as a sofa or chair side table. I consider this project to be an intermediate skill level. The design calls for material of various thickness which means you will need a thickness planer or be skilled in the use of hand planes. Also, most of the joinery is mortise and tenon, a more difficult joint to make than dowel joinery or pocket screws.

You Can Build the Gustave Side Table is 26 pages in length and includes large, easy to see illustrations covering all every aspect of construction. The plan includes a cut list and material cutting diagram as well as a fully detailed SketchUp model. More images from the plan…

Purchasing the Plan

You Can Build the Gustave Side Table is available for $14.99. Your purchase includes the 26 page plan and the SketchUp model. By clicking the link below, you will be taken to my Etsy shop where you can buy it as an instant download.


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Moroubian Tool Cabinet – Completed

I created the first rendering of my new workbench in 2014. For several years, the workbench design was just a thought. Now it is finally completed and it looks great and works great. This week I applied paint and shellac to the tool cabinet for my workbench and tucked it into place and stood back and admired what has been accomplished. After more than three decades of woodworking, I finally have a proper workbench. The tool cabinet was the final piece to this puzzle and now the workbench is finished.

Since my last update, I have worked mostly on fitting and attaching the drawer fronts for the front side of the bench. This is simply a process involving a lot of patience as I make repeated trips to the table saw to trim minute amounts of wood from the length and width of each front. These are the same steps taken in my last update, so I won’t repeat it here except to say just like everything with this project, repetition has lead to more accurate cuts. By the time I got the last drawer front in place, I was getting really good at fitting them.

I saved the best oak for the drawers on the front side of the workbench…

Killer quarter-sawn white oak.

Close-up: flake this good is a rare find where I live.

Final drawer details

After fitting the drawer fronts, I cut the opening for my fingers. Note that I am working from the right end of my workbench. I have come to use my Veritas inset vise a lot. I have rarely used my big front vise during this project.

All twelve drawers finished.

The big test fit.

With the drawers finished, I was able to maneuver the tool cabinet into place and see how it looked. And it looked good. All that was left was to add some color.


I like the paint and the warm color on the oak.

The view of the back.

For the drawer fronts, I experimented with a medium brown and red dye stain blend, but it was way too dark and too red. I had some garnet shellac left over from the workbench stretchers, so I tried the shellac, it is was just about perfect.

I can’t tell you how solid this workbench looks with the cabinet in place. With nothing in the drawers, the workbench in total has gained significant weight which was a basic goal with this workbench – to be heavy and solid. The drawers on the front will be used for items which I use a lot. I have an apron which I should use, but I just don’t. Things like a tape measure, pencils, etc. will be stored in the center drawer and the two outer drawers were sized to hold boxes of screws and nails. The additional drawers on the back side will be a place to store less often used tools.

So that is it. My next project will likely be a new TV stand for our family room. I also have the possibility of building another Moroubian workbench, but that project has not yet been finalized. Before I go, two more images – sort of customary for me to do this when I finish a project…

The workbench as designed in SketchUp.

The finished workbench.

This workbench is a reflection of where I am as a woodworker. My first bench was made of construction grade 2 x 4 stock. My second workbench (which I still use as an assembly table) was taken from the pages of Fine Woodworking, but it was and still is not a fully functioning workbench. My new workbench, which is a mash-up of two historic designs outfitted with a modern tool cabinet has just about every feature a woodworker could want. It was challenging to make; a challenge that after decades of making things, I was ready to tackle.

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Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).

The Gustave Side Table – Making Page 22

I have said virtually nothing here about my next woodworking plan which is titled You Can Make the Gustave Side Table. This table is designed in what I call “Craftsman Lite” and the plan name is derived from Gustav Stickley’s first name. Mr. Stickley is best known as a chief force behind the American Craftsman movement of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. According to Wikipedia, Stickley’s business name in 1898 was Gustave Stickley Company. Since this spelling of his first name was unusual, I decided to use it for this plan.

While preparing for this woodworking plan, I came to the decision that attempting multiple illustrations at a high level (trying to be more like what is seen in woodworking magazines) simply isn’t necessary. And, in a way such illustrations can be confusing; all the color and lines – I have come to realize that simple is best. But, even creating simple images can be a little complex. In fact, for You Can Make the Gustave Side Table, I have created more than 130 images…

A screen grab of the image file folder for this plan.

A good example of this simplistic yet slightly complex image is page 22. For this page, I needed to communicate how to make the breadboard ends for the side table. So I had to find a way to show the mortise in the breadboard end while keeping the image as simple as possible. For a few of the images in Gustave Side Table, I have exported SketchUp images in X-Ray mode which shows opaque surfaces and therefore making them see-through. But such images can create a lot of lines and make an image hard to understand. For page 22 (image 22a), I decided to make just part of the image opaque. Here is how I constructed the image and page…

The base image for 22a.

I first needed a foundation image and what you see above is it. This all of the image (except shadows) to include dimensions and the dimensions have been carefully placed so they don’t interfere with the next image…

The see-through mortise for the bread board.

The image above is exported with a transparent background making it easy to place on top of the base image in Photoshop. I can then blend the two together and achieve the look I want.

The shadow image.

The shadows in SketchUp can be adjusted so they are not so intense, but this also changes how light affects the gray color used with the components. To keep the color consistent throughout the plan, I have turned to Photoshop to help me blend shadows. I place the shadow image (with a transparent background) under the base image and blend it to the desired look.

The merged image in Microsoft Publisher.

I am currently using MS Publisher for the document creation because it is part of the Office suite of products already on my computer. I do want to go to all Adobe products for making my plans, but that is another $20 or so per month, and Publisher is currently getting the job done.

The above image shows page 22 in an almost final version. In the image you can see all the graphic elements to include the Arts and Crafts influenced font called Strong Glasgow and the color bar across the top of the page, which is used to provide some visual interest and was inspired by this web page. Advance the slider image and you will see an example of this font with an olive background and the other colors used in the color bar. I got a screen grab of this image, opened it in Photoshop which will tell me the RGB color numbers of each color.

I am also using Arts and Crafts elements by David Occhino Design because I am somewhat fascinated by the whole Arts and Crafts world which includes graphic elements, fonts and colors found in publications, wall paper, etc. Some of these elements can be found furniture in designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and others. So the whole Arts and Crafts movement is much more broad than just work by Stickley or Greene and Greene.

The image at the top of this post shows the set-up in my hotel room this week where I took time to start final proofreading for the plan. This will be my first attempt at selling a plan in a long time. I have not yet settled on the delivery method for purchasing the plan. I always thought I’d use Etsy, but Etsy is set up for selling one item, not an ongoing, repeat sales of the same thing, so I am still looking at options. Shopify is too expensive now, so I may use the new WordPress feature for capturing payment via PayPal and simply email the plan and SketchUp model as a sale is made. But, I’d like to automate this whole process.

I hope to have the plan up for sale on Friday, October 12th. Still a lot to do before I get this plan finalized.

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Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).