Littleton Console

Marc Spagnuolo

The Littleton Console is a thoughtfully-designed cabinet that goes to great lengths to use grain direction in fun and interesting ways. This not only helps the visual flow of the piece but also challenges expectations for which parts move, and which ones don't.

The cabinet measures 26"H x 40"W x 16"D

  • 18 lessons
  • 346 min
  • $79.00
  • Littleton Console Templates

    If you want to hit the ground running and don't feel like making your own templates, add these to your order.

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Intro

    Let’s take a tour of the project and discuss the design and the templates.

  2. Layout and Milling

    Let’s learn to paint with the grain by strategically laying out our parts.

  3. Leg and Rail Mortises

    Making mortises in the legs and rails, as well as doing a quick repair job.

  4. Tenons

    The tenons are milled to perfection before being glued into the rails.

  5. Panel Grooves

    Cutting grooves in the rails and legs to house our panels.

  6. Bottom Panel

    Cutting the grooves for the bottom panel.

  7. Door Frames

    The door frames are cut to size, mortises, and then shaped.

  8. Door Panel Grooves

    Making the grooves for the door panels.

  9. Panels

    Making the side, back and door panels.

  10. Door Fitting and Knife Hinges

    The final assembly and fitting of the doors followed by the installation of the knife hinges.

  11. Curves and Details

    Shelf pins and curves are added to our parts.

  12. Assembly

    Finally our case comes together.

  13. Drawer Box

    The drawer box is constructed and installed using full extension slides.

  14. Drawer Front

    The unique drawer front adds some visual interest to the front of our cabinet.

  15. Top and Shelf

    The top and shelf panels are glued up and cut to size.

  16. Pulls

    Customer drawer and door pulls will adorn the front of our cabinet.

  17. Final Details

    Time to make the door stop and attach the faux dividers.

  18. The Finish

    Let’s apply a hardwax oil and we can call this project done!

What will I receive?

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction (18 videos in total) showing every step of the Littleton Console build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase.

What will I learn?

What will I need?

General Tools for building the Littleton Console:

Table Saw with Miter Gauge, Bandsaw, Jointer, Planer, Drill Press, Drill, Random Orbit Sander, Plunge Router, Router Table, Trim Router (Optional) Miter Saw, Chisels, Marking Knife, Cutting Gauge, Smooth Plane, small metal file


  • 11 BF 4/4 Sapele
  • 3 BF 6/4 Sapele
  • 11 BF 4/4 Ambrosia Maple
  • < 1 BF Ebony
  • 1/8″ Diameter Brass Rod
  • 1/8″ Diameter Wood Dowel
  • Knife Hinges (Brusso #L-37) – 2 Pair
  • 1/2″ Plywood (13″ x 27″ piece)
  • 1/4″ Plywood (12″ x 24″ piece)

Blades & Bits:

  • 1/4” Up-spiral Bit
  • 1/8″ Roundover Bit
  • Dado Stack for the Table Saw
  • Flush Trim Pattern Bit – please note that any flush trim bit can work here but at least make sure it’s a spiral configuration.
  • Slot-Cutter Bit Set
  • 1/8″ Brad Point Bit
  • 9/64″ Drill Bit


  • 2 Pair Brusso L-37
  • 4 1/4″ Shelf Pins
  • 1 Pair 12″ Full Extension Mechanical Slide
  • Four 1/4″ Rare Earth Magnets


This is a great project and good learning experience. I have made two. The first with M&T joints. The second was 3″ taller and 6mm Dominos for all joints. Some of my lessons:
– Check the height with your client. The plans are suitable for a bedroom. LOML wanted it taller to place in a living area.
– Key point: Reference all dimensions from the leg inside edges. The legs can be as thin as 15/16″, but thicker looks better.
– Hide glue provides a lot longer working time. It does not need much clamp pressure which allows one to easily and accurately square the case and drawer box.
– Use PVA glue for the tenons into the rails. It greatly simplifies fitup. Trim the tenons as needed.
– Two business cards are 1/32″. Easy to gap to doors and drawer front.
– I like prefinished Baltic Birch for the floor, back and drawer bottom.
– One 6mm Domino tenon was sufficiently strong for the joints. And it fit better than my machine cut M&T on the first project. A drawer with two Sipo Domino tenons looks great. I may never dovetail again.
– Consider the top overhang. LOML already wants the top pushed back to flush against the wall (3/4″).
– The Brusso template makes knife hinge installation a breeze. And one business card adds 1/64″ if one needs to shim.
– Prefinishing the insides, drawer box and shelf with 1# shellac simplified the final finish. I really like the hard wax oil. Enough to consider selling the sprayer setup.
– I bought the templates. Well worth the money.

Nice project. Thanks, Marc.

David Giles
Guild Member

I made some modifications due to the full sheet paper template undersizing the parts slightly, even though the 1″ reference square proved accurate. As a result, I had to figure out a lot more than if I had purchased the templates directly. I used Padauk and Ambrosia Maple, and I am really happy with the results. Grain patterns follow the curves and add that subtle touch that most will never notice.

I also used undermount drawer slides despite your reasons not to, knowing it would eat at the size of the drawer, but I couldn’t cover the brass pins and ambrosia maple drawer sides. Too pretty for side mount. This was also my first time using Brusso knife hinges, and I am glad you covered that specifically, along with the high level of detail throughout the course and instructions, as it helped me to make the very best project I could.

Changes I would make in constructing another table would be, find a way to import the templates to Shaper Origin and cut them exactly. I would also use solid wood or make a plywood panel to veneer the bottom panel, having made the rest, including the shelf from solid wood. I think it would add to the consistent look of the piece. It’s inside though, and certainly not a deal breaker. I also would not use hide glue again, as it struggled to keep the padauk frame together, and I had to strategically pull the joints apart, clean them, and apply PVA glue. That meant more sanding, but it worked.

All in all, a great project, and one I am proud to have built. Thanks Marc!

Joe Cochell
Guild Member

I enjoyed the course and especially liked how you laid out the door templates within the frame before making the doors. I was a little annoyed that they fit so perfectly after you put them together. I was also relieved that you talked about the drawer slides, I’m usually disappointed when I see the side guides on nice furniture but you had solid rationale and your choice made sense. The recommendation to hand sand the legs is something that I’m going to do with my next project. I really want to know what hard wax oil you used.

I have one question, did you consider using a grain filler? I use African Mahogany a lot, which is very similar to Sapele, and usually fill the grain to get smoother feel.

Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.