The original version of this side table sold for $7.00 in Limbert’s 1905 catalog. Like other of Limbert’s best pieces, its design transcends the period, making it a bit of chameleon at home with many styles. The original was built of quartersawn white oak with a fumed finish. I chose to build it in cherry following an article from the November 2003 issue of Popular Woodworking.
The project provides a fine introduction to pattern routing since each leg is identical. The article calls for arranging the rabbeted legs in a pinwheel pattern, which makes for an awkward glue up since the parts want to slip when clamped. If I were building another (easy enough to do with the pattern prepared), I might rabbet both sides of each leg to produce a centered tongue, then assemble in stages, beginning with gluing two opposing legs together and finishing by gluing the remaining legs in the grooves formed by the meeting of the opposed tongues.
I began by selecting the best wood (“best” a relative term for the mediocre stock I had on hand) for the top, gluing it up. I then marked out the legs, cut out rough blanks, and used a bearing bit in the router guided by the pattern to cut the legs to final shape. I sanded through 400 grit, taped off the joints, and applied a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil. After glue up, the top was attached using brackets.
Model in the Sketchup Warehouse
Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture (Amazon link) collects some of the magazine’s most popular Arts & Crafts projects, including this tabouret.