A Library Table

A library table of neat appearance and correct proportions is shown in the accompanying sketch and detail drawing. This table looks best when finished in quarter-sawed oak, although any of the other furniture woods can be used if desired. If the material is ordered from the mill cut to length, squared and sanded, much of the hard labor can be avoided. Order the following pieces:

  • 4 legs, 2 by 2 by 30-1/4 in., S-4-S.

  • 1 top,
    1-1/8 by 30 by 42 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 end pieces, 3/4 by 17-1/8 by 29 in., S-2-S.

  • 2 top rails, 7/8 by 2 by 37 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 top rails, 7/8 by 2 by 25-1/2 in., S-4-S.

  • 1 lower brace, 3/4 by 2 by 32 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 shelves, 3/4 by 7 by 29 in., S-4-S.

  • 8 slats, 1/4 by 1-1/8 by 17-1/8 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 drawer fronts, 3/4 by 5-3/4 by 25 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 drawer sides, 3/8 by 3-3/4 by 14 in., soft wood.

  • 2 drawer ends, 3/8 by 3-3/8 by 24-1/4 in., soft wood.

  • 2 drawer bottoms, 3/8 by 13-1/4 by 24-1/4 in., soft wood.

  • 2 drawer supports, 3/4 by 2 by 23-1/2 in., soft wood.

  • 2 drawer supports, 3/4 by 2 by 25 in., soft wood.


Detail of the Library Table Detail of the Library Table


Start work on the legs by beveling the tops and squaring them up and laying out the mortises for the shelves as shown in section BB. Care should be taken to get the legs mortised in pairs and all cut the same height. This is best done by placing the four legs side by side with the ends square, and then laying out the mortises across all four at once with a try-square.

The Finished Library Table The Finished Library Table

The table top is made of several boards which are doweled and glued together. Be careful to get the best side of each board up and have the joints a tight fit. The corners should be cut out for the posts as shown. The posts are to be fastened to the board by means of screws. The holes can be counterbored for the heads and then plugged. The top rails are also fastened to the top board by means of screws.

The end pieces can now be made. Two or more [10] boards will have to be glued together for these. The top corners will have to be cut to fit about the top rails. Cleats can be used in fastening them to the top board. The shelves also have the corners cut to fit into the mortises in the posts. They are held to the end boards by means of screws.

If the parts all fit perfectly square and tight, they can be glued and screwed together, which will complete the table except for the slats and drawers. The slats can be fastened on with nails, then the heads covered with fancy nails which can be secured for this purpose. The drawer supports can now be put in. They are screwed to the end boards as shown. A bottom brace should be fastened under the lower shelves to help steady the table. The two drawers are made as shown in the detail sketch. No handles are needed as the lower edge of the front board can be used for pulling them out.

When the table is complete it should be carefully gone over with fine sandpaper and all rough spots removed. Scrape the glue from about the joints as finish will not take where there is any glue. Apply the stain preferred or the one that matches the other furniture. This can be any of the many stains supplied by the trade for this purpose.