Blasphemy (Not Really)

With an inspired idea in-hand, I have finished my design for a bedside table that I am hoping will be the first piece of a full bedroom set (or maybe a living room set, depending on my mood). It will heavily employ my favorite joint (the mitered half-lap) and be two-toned, probably in cherry with a lighter wood tabletop and shelf (both of which will float). I might add a drawer at some point, but that is not critical to the design.

The most beautiful joint of all.

The most beautiful joint of all.

While creating a cut list, it occurred to me the table will essentially have a face frame (two, in fact: front and back). Being a hardwood-only woodworker (except for drawer bottoms and the odd storage container), I don’t do much casework. To me, “face frame” might as well be a euphemism for “way to hide the end grain of sheet good carcasses”. Veritably one step up (barely) from stick-on edge banding.  In this piece, though, the face frames are meant to hide the end grain of the hardwood tabletop and shelf.

I usually don’t mind exposed end-grain (there will be, after all, visible end grain in each of the mitered half-lap joints). I certainly remember reading somewhere that masking end-grain was a much more dire endeavor in eons past. But for some reason, it feels correct to hide the end-grain in this project.


Lots of exposed end-grain here.  And here.  And here.  Everywhere, really.

I’m hoping to get some stock preparation done this weekend if I can make it to the lumberyard on Saturday. Maybe I will first mock up a face frame in pine to confirm dimensions. I don’t do prototypes often, but it makes sense in this instance.


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