Motivation: - Introduce the larger project - Add a disclaimer that hey, this isn’t really unique - Good excuse for learning some freecad


  • Mention no exact measurements

  • MDF, but anything uniformly flat works well enough

  • Mention bandsaw slot

  • talk about bandsaw blade radiuses (use picture from inside machine)


  • It works and is fun

  • Modification needed for very tight radius elements

  • No cleanup possible outside of basic sanding in my shop

  • clamping is a bit of a PITA

Article 2

Like the previous post, we’re working towards the construction of a plant table. The design I was building attempted to look slim and modern. One aspect of that was thin angled legs. In order to have those legs, they needed to be attached which means angled jointery. Getting more specific, the intent was to have a linkage come off the legs towards the base which would connect all legs together at a point. Initially I was planning on a simple angled mortise & tendon joint, however the legs were thin enough that it seemed like a location which could easily crack down the line. Stylistically I could see either a proud tendon in the style of greene and greene or a stopped tendon looking nice, but no need to overcomplicate things.

I ended up going with a T bridle joint. As for the angle of the legs, they were all splayed out by an extra 10 degrees.


So, with that goal in mind, how do we create the joint? The leg has exposed jointery which is easy to mark so that piece is an everyday normal bit of woodworking. The angle within the horizontal linkages though is less trivial to do by hand. In order to ensure the internal face of the linkage mated well with the leg power tools.

Typically I end up using my mortise machine for cutting holes like that. In this case it was just a matter of using the machine at an angle. The built in fence and clamping wasn’t designed for it, however with a Easy enough

targeting One of the elements to make the final design more slim and modern In order to get to the goal

This should be a quick one. In designing the table (next part in this series), I ended up ending up either with an angled mortise/tendon joint or an angled T bridle joint


  • Stopped or through mortise+tendon joint

  • T bridle joint


  • Pretty simple for 90 degree joints, but target was just a bit away from 90, 80/100 degree joint

  • Mention support on bottom issues

  • Clamping was a pain, so additional jiggery might be good or just seeing what’s SOTA for the mortise machine (3D printed modifications?)


It works and was easier to get consistent results than by hand would have been. The bottom tear out happened, but

Article 3

So, with the two pre-requisite jigs out of the way [1,2] here’s the main project. Essentially with winter arriving I had some typically outdoor plants which needed to be moved back inside to avoid the cold. The current place I’m living at has reasonably high windows and narrow windowsills, so some sort of table is needed for plants to get a reasonable amount of sunlight.

The starting point was a very simple stool that I had built out of an old door. If you’ve got a landlord who takes a door off the hinges and tells you to get rid of it, what else are you going to do, eh?

So, while the stool does not look all that nice, it did give an initial sense of scale and provided a baseline for what felt right. Starting out, it was too short, stout, and generally too blocky. So at a high level whatever I prototyped would end up being a slimmed down tall stool. To make the profile leaner, the top would end up being circular, the legs thinner, and only three legs would get used. Placing the legs at an angle would help with the outline of the design, though it would complicate the joinery somewhat. Having linkages from legs to all of their neighbors would be possible, but it would be more complex to do as well as not being all that visually interesting. So to stabilize the table all three would be joined to the top and joined together at some point lower down in the frame

Notebook capture

With the general plan in mind it was a matter of estimating what sizes `felt' right and rectifying that with what stock was available. While I had plants which certainly could use a better perch, using up old material and `scrap' was a primary project goal. Starting out with the table top it was a matter of placing a plant down on a sheet of cardboard, roughly tracing the desired outline relative to one of the objects it was going to hold. From there without any measurement a set of dividers could be used as a compass to get an accurate circle which could be cut out.

Cardboard picture

The height of the table was initially measured by done by walking over to a window, eyeballing where it feels like the plants should be and then just placing a hand on my side at that height. While a smarter person would have simply measured the distance directly the destination of the tables wasn’t in the same room as the tools themselves, so some measurement error may have accumulated.

As per the leg and top thickness, that was purely a constraint of what was easily on hand without milling into fresh boards. Initially the plan was to make only one table, but hey who makes a project without some scope creep. The first part built out was the table tops. Each top is built out of a collection of scrap pieces which don’t have a great fit (hard to manage with a bandsaw+planes). As such, it was a concern that some of the tops would well, come out horribly?

I ended up making three tops with one thin and two thicker. As they all turned out reasonably, so three tables it was. When it came to the legs there was a similar split of enough stock for 3 thin legs and 6 slightly thicker legs. The thin stock was slightly shorter as well, so to have a set of unique tables each one started out at a different height.

Mortise template

The build progressed fairly quickly from there. The above template was used to establish the locations of the top mortises, then the the lowers were located about 2/3rds down. The linkages of the lowers were just another bit of stock available without much rescaling. Once everything was together and with some light calculation the lowers were cut to length and used to align a base joining plate(?).

Motivation: Plants need somewhere with sunlight above window sill

Inspiration: Simple stool derived from some german plans traslated back into imperial and built with parts from an old door

  • not pretty, but functional

Modification process:

  • Taller, more slim legs, slight angle to add newance, circular top


  • size of the top was determined by placing a plant on cardboard and tracing out what seemed right with a few pencil marks and then a divider being used as a compass

  • Height was measured based upon standing next to windows and placing a hand on my side, then later converting that into a measurement

  • Top thickness as well as leg thickness a function of what scraps I had around in the shop from prior projects

Flaw showcase:

  • Asymmetry of lower joints

  • Gaps in bridle joints (partially the result of out-of-square stock)

  • Gaps on top

  • Gaps in top