A Simple Doll House Table…or Maybe not

Mud Room Bench

Like most of us I have a tendency to over do things. A few months ago my wife asked me to build a table to hold our daughters doll house. My intent was just to build something quick and easy. So this past week with a few days off for New Years I decided to get started.

I remembered a few years ago when building a writing desk that I had an extra top cut from White Oak. There were a few flaws in the top that I chose not to use it for the desk but it was just fine for the doll house table. I also had a half of a sheet of 1/2 Oak plywood that I have wanted to get out of the shop for some time so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Going into a project with only a general idea and looking around the shop for what I had on hand is a great brainstorming exercise in problem solving. I didn’t want to just nail the plywood together but my supply of Oak is limited as I don’t use it a lot. I found a cut off of a 12/4 Oak slab that was just wide and long enough to get 4 short legs from and had a White Oak board that gave me just enough railing to frame everything out.

Having decided to go with a panel frame, I realized that this table was going to turn out better than what was really needed so I dimensioned it so that she could use it later sort of like a mudroom bench for shoe storage and a bench. The table is 41″ long x 18″ wide x 16″ tall. Her doll house will fit perfect on top and just high enough for her to play. I considered hinging the top for storage inside but decided that this would not work well with the doll house on top. I ended up leaving the front side open, my wife is planning on putting baskets in it to hold toys.

The legs and rails are all dadoed for the 1/2″ plywood panels and the rails are mortised into the legs. I wanted to keep the front uniform with the sides and back so put stop dados on the front to rails so that stiles could be installed to keep the frame look with out the panel.

The table has been a surprisingly fun project and I was able to go from concept to glue up in just one day. I still have some flattening and smoothing to do on the top and also to fasten the top before finishing. Now the issue is deciding on what finish to apply….

Be safe, learn something, and have fun!


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