Arm Rest Coffee Table – Tools

Since several people have asked me about this I thought I would do a quick post listing out the tools I used for the Arm Rest Coffee Table.


I’ll do my best to go in order from top to bottom and left to right.

  • Router plane – I used to this create the inlay for the marble. As I said in a prior post, I probably could have gotten away with just using a chisel and some patience.
  • Mini power saw – One of the few power tools I own. It definitely made cutting the marble quick and easy, and while I didn’t test it I’m pretty sure a hack saw would have worked just as well.
  • Low angle jack plane – I really need to buy a number 4 plane, but in the mean time this is my go to tool for squaring, planning and smoothing wood.
  • Try square – Used in the beginning of the project when I was preparing the word and wanted to make sure it was all square.
  • Clamps – These were used for a lot of different tasks, but the most crucial was clamping the final pieces when they where being glued together.
  • Saw – A lot of people have strong opinions about Japanese style pull saws. I just like this one because it comes apart and fits in my tool box. It was used for the initial cutting of the paduk board.
  • Marking gauge – Very important when laying out the dovetails.
  • Razor – Most people have special knives, I just use this when making a knife line in the wood.
  • Chisels – I doubt I needed all three of these for the project, but having multiple meant I didn’t need to sharpen them as often.
  • Rubber mallet – Fun fact, my wife bought this for me as a Christmas present while we were still dating. Having a mallet is essential when chiseling out the dovetail waste.
  • Dovetail saw – For the initial dovetail joint cuts.

There are a few things I used not in the picture: my vise, shooting board, file and dovetail markers. The vise and shooting board, which I made, are used in pretty much every one of my projects. The file was just a basic metal file which helped get the marble to final shape needed. The dovetail markers help get consistent sized dovetails. Some people like free-handing the layout since they prefer the irregularity of it, but not me.

So there you have it, a complete list of all the tools I used. It may seem like a lot at first, but with the exception of the dovetail markers, all of the tools have a wide variety uses and will come in handy for almost all of my future projects.

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