Well ... you may choose to call it something else, and you would not be wrong with whatever name you gave this handy little table. I has many uses and many names. I have been unable to find it earliest source or where it originated from which probably means version of this go back so far it is beyond recorded history of furniture making.
I have always wanted to make one of these little tables but always had concerns about the wood movement in the legs. Depending on the moisture content and the type and cut of the wood the legs could have a mind of their own in terms of bending and bowing. I knew the best way to combat this was to laminate the wood in the legs which goes a long way to keeping the legs stable, straight and very strong.
This method is nothing knew, I first discovered it when I had the opportunity to see in person some original Gustav Stickley furniture. One of the things I noticed on some pieces was that the legs were composed of 2 pieces of wood glued together. I was told, this was not because they didn't have the wood in the correct sizes, or could not get it, but that the pieces that were glued together were actually more stable as laminated wood with less tendency to bow and bend when subjected to varying humidity levels.
The information wasn't new to me, but what was new was that for some reason, to have Gustav Stickley using this technique seemed somehow legitimize the methodology. For some reason in my mind, I never really thought about the fact that all these amazing woodworkers of past had the same wood movement problems we all still encounter today ...
To build this little table, I started off with the most straight grain pieces of wood I had on hand. Then I book matched them and glued them together. After the glue dried, it was almost impossible to see were they had been glued together unless you looked very closely (and were probably a woodworker too).
While the glued legs were drying, went to work on the apron pieces, trimming them to size and length as well as sanding and dying the wood. I am finding the pre-finishing many of my wood projects is quicker, easier and does a much better job, depending of course on the piece.
When I went into my wood stock looking for a suitable top, I noticed a couple of pieces of natural edge wood that I had been keeping for one reason or another. They were really too small to do do much with with, but one of them looked like it might make the perfect top for my table ... my tape measure confirmed it would work.
After the leg gluing was cured, I removed the legs from the clamps and set up my table saw with my latest jig, my tapered leg jig. I found the center of the bottom of each leg, then mounted them, one at a time in the jig and in no time, made 4 perfect tapered legs for the little table. The legs were dyed and dried.
With all the components pre-dyed, I also decided to prefinish them and gave each component 3 coats of Osmo.
Assembly was easy. I decided that for this little table I would prefer to have a bit more strength that what pocket holes would give me so used my Dowelmax doweling jig, with a bit of glue ... the table legs and apron was assembled in no time ... and it was already pre-finished.
Adding the top was easy. I used 4 little sloted angle pieces and attached to top with #8 screws. The slotted right angle pieces would ensure that if the wood moved it would not split as the slots in the angle pieces would allow for a any wood movement.
With that ... the project was complete and finally, I have my own little Album Table.
Copyright - Colin Knecht