A coffee table, we need a coffee table. Hmmm?
This project, which is nearing completion, is a coffee table.
No big thing typically. A set of legs, a few rips on the table saw, a little glue,
some mortise and tenons and Bob’s your uncle.
Not quite this time. I didn’t want to make “another table.”
More than that, I wanted to build something where the timbers I wanted to use dictated the design.
Well, partially—there was a height constraint which needed to be filled: we require that the table be
of a height that we can comfortably rest our feet on it while watching movies or the game.
So, given I had a nice slab of Florida camphor about 5/4 thick with a natural edge and some slabs of
highly spalted quartersawn sycamore—these were growing white mold on ‘em—what could I produce?
The result is the table seen here:
The table is unfinished as it lacks a finish. Moreover, the base is complete to a point.
The shelf is joined to the legs with a stub mortise and tenon. Period. Glued M&T and nothing else.
As is, it’s stable but there’s no racking strength in this design and I’m trying to decide how I want to do
the aprons such that I eliminate the table base blowing out over time (through use) while minimizing the
apron’s impact on the visual clean lines of the table.
So, there’s the question: how would you make the apron?
My idea is to cut two aprons, one for each long side of the table, with an arched lower edge and an angled
dado on the inside of each apron for each of the table legs. The two dados in each apron would stabilize the legs and would, hopefully, be enough support to prevent racking.
And, of course, the ends of each apron would be cut at the same angle as the table top, which is opposing the angled splayed legs.
What do you think?
-- Gary, Florida