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Walnut Coffee Table #2: We (finally) Have a Plan

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Blog entry by Lifesaver2000 posted 12-24-2011 03:32 AM 905 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Preparation Part 2 of Walnut Coffee Table series Part 3: First Shop Day & a Riving Knife Works »

After several attempts, we have finally settled on a design for the new living room table. I had created several different Sketchup designs, with things like raised panels and different leg designs, but my wife asked that I come up with something simpler and more rounded. We also did some measuring, and decided to go with a shorter height, taking it down to sixteen inches.

The pictures here show the basic design. This plan is intended just to allow construction at this point. Finalizing thing such as the edge profile of the table top and any trim or embellishments will be done in progress during construction, with me making samples and then trying things just to see what looks good.

This table will be placed in an area that get a lot of use, and my wife was concerned that square corners would lend themselves to frequent encounters with legs. This is the reason for the rounded corners on the table.

The drawers are likely to get a lot of use with heavy items like catalogs and magazines, so I will be using 100 lbs rated full extensions slides. Internally there is a center panel that will be where the center slides will attach. The bottom of this panel will have adjustable legs that are set back far enough that they won’t normally be visible, but will support that weight of the drawers and allow me to compensate for variations in the floor if needed.

Now for a question to anyone who wants to chip in. I am using air-dried 4/4 walnut. I know that with things like table tops it is the practice to use narrower boards that are glued up with alternating growth rings to reduce the effects of wood movement.

The rear panels will be about 9 ¾ by 11 ¾, and 5/8 inch thick. On these smaller individual panels, is there any problem with using a single piece of wood for the floating panel, or should I use three narrower pieces glued together? I would really like the look of each panel being a single board, but I don’t want problems down the road with them bowing in or out.

Barring any problems, I hope to start rough sizing of the lumber next week. I’ll be cutting everything a little long and wide to start with, then letting it sit a while in case there was any internal stresses that have been released.



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