Building a Side Table with a Drawer - Tools, materials and information

Preparations and Wood

The typical Shaker Style side table that I have in mind is approximately 30" tall, 16" deep and 20" wide, with some potential for variations in dimensions. The aprons are about 4" wide and the drawer about 3" tall. The legs are tapered from 2" thick stock. (See web site "past photos" link for some previous student examples.)
The drawing included in this packet will give you an idea of the table's construction.
For both fun and beauty we will hopefully be making your table from one 8/4" board: cherry, walnut, maple or mahogany. If you have not already, Please let us know ASAP on your wood choice.

Tool List

If you need recommendations for any tools to buy or borrow, please feel free to give me a call or send an e-mail and I'll be happy to help you find a tool that fits your needs and your budget.

* Dovetail saw - You can use a Japanese or Western dovetail saw I personally prefer Western saws but have used Japanese saws for years. For a Japanese saw a Dozuki (a Japanese backsaw) works well for joinery. The Dozuki "Z" saw #12F27 is about $40. For a Western dovetail saw I like the Lie-Nielsen, Adria, Gramercy and Wenzloff & Sons brands.

* Handplanes - If you have them bring any bench and block plane that you use.

* Cutting gauge...cuts across the grain - I personally use the Tite-Mark gauge, but there are other good and less expensive ones such as the wheel guage sold by Lee Valley

* Dovetail marking gauge or sliding bevel - I like the Lee Valley Saddle Dovetail Markers best - the "pair" 1:6 & 1:8 is the best deal

* 2" to 3" steel square - handy

* 6" rule

* Combination Squares - 12" and/or 6"

* Tape measure (shorter is better)

* Dead blow hammer (14 to 20 oz.) - Not a rubber mallet

* A mallet for striking chisels

* Chisels - bring what you have, sharpened if possible

* Sharpening - if you have your own stones feel free to bring them otherwise we have a school set on hand - typically a #1000 and #8000 or equivalent are plenty

* Safety equipment: safety glasses, dust mask, hearing protection

I will have a variety of extra tools on hand for you to use and try so it is not necessary to buy what you don't have - unless you want to.


A fully catered lunch is served every day and drinks and snacks are provided all day. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary needs. It is a good idea to make your lodging reservations well in advance.


Lie-Nielsen Toolworks extends a 10% discount to our students. Please contact Lie-Nielsen for more details.

If you have questions, please feel free to call or email Kelly

(859) 986-5540