While in the process of making this end table I was actually seeing ambrosia maple every time I closed my eyes. The patterns, the light and dark stripes, and even the little beetle holes in the wood. They just came alive when I closed my eyes. Yes, you read that correctly beetle holes… some maple trees become the home of Ambrosia Beetles, these beetles burrow into the tree and leave behind pinhead size holes and some very sought after dark grey and tan streaks.

If we go back almost two years, I made my sister, Sheerie a coffee table using this same infected maple. Now I’m making the matching end table. I had free rein over the basic design, Sheerie only specified a bottom shelf and the basic measurements.

First, I found a section of the wood and chose it for the drawer. I wanted it to blend in when closed. To make this effect, I used a scrap piece of plywood to make a dummy drawer front then transferred it to the maple. (you can see the pencil marks) I briefly considered trying to cut out the center drawer with a copping or jig saw, but I ended up with the more precise table saw, then glued up the pieces. To keep the drawer face from sticking I wrapped it in plastic wrap.

You’ll also notice that natural maple is more white, while the end result is more golden, thats due to the Amber Shellack I used to finish this piece.

Sheerie wanted a warm golden color so instead of using a stain I went with a natural amber shellack, it leaves a beautiful golden color and it’s a natural sealant which will protect it for years to come.

My original intention was to taper the legs, which is why I made them oversized, but I couldn’t decide on the taper angle or on how many sides to taper, then add a bottom shelf to the mix, and things get complicated so, I decided to go with the legs as is. In the end I love the beefy look.

Seasonal wood movement is a thing, it expands and shrinks based on humidity. The table top needs to be allowed to move with the seasons otherwise cracks may occur.

The image here shows my preferred way to attach the top.

Notch out a section of the apron, then use floating brackets to insert into that notch. The other side is screwed into the bottom of the table top. Ensuring a sturdy connection that allows for seasonal movement.

tables in their new home

Above is my sisters living room, she has a beautiful home near Richmond. I’m honored to have made her coffee and end tables.

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