Outdoor "Coffee" Table #2: Next (baby) steps

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Blog entry by Dorje posted 07-16-2007 02:01 AM 1622 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Just an idea Part 2 of Outdoor "Coffee" Table series Part 3: The Wood »

I picked the wood I’m going to use for this project; I’m going to go with Lyptus. I should get down to the lumber store sometime this week…

Also, I made some drawings of the top, side, and end.

Drawings really are limiting! I’d like to draw this in sketchup, but can barely remember how to draw a rectangle. Actually I can draw a rectangle, but don’t even know how to type in the dimensions I want rather than have to drag the exact distance!!! (Bob Babcock, I hope you’re out there! – Or I’ll ask in a forum topic!).

In any case the plan for the top is set – and it just so happens it’s overall dimensions are very very close to the golden ratio, which I just learned about a couple weeks ago…in this post by David

Now, the only thing that I’m not certain about is whether to put a taper on the entire leg from the apron down, or to stick with my original plan of tapering the leg at it’s halfway point from the apron. I’ve played with some different tapers in the drawings. I’d take some feedback on this…or anything.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

10 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35126 posts in 4429 days

#1 posted 07-16-2007 02:22 AM

I like the full taper.

Now to get started.

Good luck.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4126 days

#2 posted 07-16-2007 02:35 AM

Looking forward to seeing your progress.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View 's profile

593 posts in 4000 days

#3 posted 07-16-2007 02:39 AM

This one will be nice Dorje (as all the other you showed us too, I should say!) ;)

I do love the lyptus look and even if I like all the variations of the taper you are playing with, I’d rather go for the 12”. It looks the more balanced to me but then it’s just my opinion…

Re. Sketchup it’s not that hard actually. I don’t know for the Win version, but on the Mac you can customize the preferences and tell it that your main activity is woodworking (isn’t it amazing that a big box software count us as a marketing group?). If you then go to the help menu you’ll find some tutorials, one of wich is about drawing some cabinetry IIRC.

Anyway, you can always go there: and spend your afternoon. You’ll realize that when you see it done in a video it’s way much easier to grasp.

Keep up the “wood” work.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4025 days

#4 posted 07-16-2007 09:31 AM

Jojo – I was trying to get to know SketchUp this eve; between the link to the tutorials you provided and Bob Babcock's tutorials, you’d think I’d have it mastered already! ha!

Thanks for the encouragement…I’ve already run into my first problem though…posted here.

All – I also like the longer tapers – ran it by my wife this eve and she liked the long tapers too, so long tapers it is. I’ll probably start them right from the bottom of the apron or an inch or so down from there.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4114 days

#5 posted 07-16-2007 09:38 AM

Hi Dorje,

This will be a nice table. I think you’ll be pleased with the Lyptus. Very heavy, machines nicely, perfect for an outdoor table. If you don’t want to let it weather just put on a fresh coat of oil each year. I use Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil.

I think I like the 12” taper also. It depends on the style you are looking for. The shorter one (6”?) looks somewhat mission style. The 14” shaker. Maybe you should make it to match my chair and do a reverse taper…hehe…I’m a lot of help.

As for the Sketchup questions, ask away. When drawing a rectangle just start the rectangle and as you are dragging the cursor to set your second point just type in the numbers you want seperated by a comma. 10,10 gives you a ten inch square, 5’3”,4’6” gives you a rectangle of those dimensions. Same principle works for all the drawing tools and editing tools too for that matter.

If you wanted to copy a part 10” and have it repeat 7 times you would select the part then choose the move tool (hold ctrl key to change it to copy) click the origin point, start to drag it in the direction you want to copy and then type in 10. The part will copy in that direction 10”, then type 7x and it will copy it 6 more times. You end up with 8 parts spaced exactly 10” apart.

I agree with Jojo. The Sketchup tutorials are the way to go. I posted a listing of learning resources (and other stuff) in the FWW blog.

I’m considering doing more on the Sketchup blog here. I’ve been neglecting my contribution to the FWW blog over the past couple of months. I’ve been very busy with work and I enjoy my time here too much to focus on FWW. The money is not incentive enough. I’d rather share with my friends here and I’m not sure how many subscribe to FWW online. I know you do but i’m not sure about the rest.

-- Bob

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4025 days

#6 posted 07-16-2007 10:05 AM

The copy function is a bit advanced for me at this point…could my problem be that I need to make all the frame members individual rectangles (i.e., all the boards as indv. rectangles?) – Or should I be able to make one big rectangle and then turn it into a frame and panel top with the slats and openings???

Thanks for your feedback and support!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4114 days

#7 posted 07-16-2007 10:50 AM

As you’ll see by my answer to your problem you want to create each of the boards as seperate components. Definitely learn to use components in Sketchup, you’ll go crazy otherwise. It is the key to controlling geometry in Sketchup.

-- Bob

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4025 days

#8 posted 07-16-2007 10:57 AM

I took that advice and applied it to the legs in the SketchUp Q post – now that’s progress! I will try to do that with the top in the morning if I can….

Thanks so much for your help on this!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4008 days

#9 posted 07-16-2007 11:30 AM


My first inclination was the long taper, but they all have character.

I’m glad to see Bob is available to field questions, regarding sketchup.

I’ve had company for the past few days but I did manage to open the program and play just long enough to realize I don’t remember much at all !


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4065 days

#10 posted 07-16-2007 08:14 PM

I like the long taper. Bob is definately the sketchup guy!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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