My wife has some books, magazines and a few other things she uses often and they tend to sit on the table or off to the side of where she normally sits to read. She asked me to build her a magazine stand in a similar style to the Aurora night stand I recently finished.
So I took up the challenge to do something in a similar style which would have obvious visual ties to the Aurora table, but not a copy. I spent some time looking through my reference books and gathering my ideas. Then I did a few rough pencil sketches until came up with one that started to look about right. Then I moved to Sketchup and did a layout to really get a feel for the proportions and how the different design elements flowed together.
The basic proportion is based on a specific book with hard sided storage sleeve she wants to keep on the bottom shelf. The book with the sleeve is 15” wide and 11 inches deep. so that set the basic parameters that the shelves would be 16” wide and 12 inches deep. So adding 2” legs gave me a base width of 20” and going with a bit of golden mean, that put the height at about 32.5 inches. I fudged a bit and went to 32 7/8” high so the actual carcass could be 32 and adding the top would keep it close. Then I decided to breadboard the top, so adding a bit on both sides and then the breadboards, and the top is 26.5”.
Having the basic size roughed out, I then proceeded to the design elements I wanted to incorporate. I gathered much of my inspiration from the Tichenor dresser, drawing the side panel layout and cloud lift elements from there. I originally thought to do the legs with a waterfall like the Aurora table as one of the unifying elements, but due to the relatively short leg exposed beneath the front rail, I changed my mind and decided to go with the tapered leg indent (Gamble house table?).
Though the shelves won’t carry significant weight, I wanted to try my hand at the lofted design used in some of the G&G bookcases where the shelf is thick at the back and then has a sort of lift pattern cut into it so the front face of the shelf is thinner, looking lighter overall.
The last thing was the top and here I decided on using the same basic layout and style of the Aurora table top, so in addition to the breadboards, I also added ebony accents on the sides and front/back. I have not yet decided whether to add some small ebony plugs on the legs at the rails, but I may still do so.
After getting that all laid out in sketchup I’m pretty happy with it. The proportions are reasonably harmonious and the overall look is attractive I think. Most importantly, it got the OSSoA (Official Spousal Seal of Approval), so I’ll let it stew a bit and then get started. The drawings below show the current state of things.
I’d appreciate any comments on the design and input on the joinery, assembly techniques. At the moment, the leg indents are definitely overstated in the current drawing with a 1/4” indent, but I’m already thinking I’ll soften them a bit by using less indent and then extend them vertically another inch or so.
For construction, I’ll go with mortise and tenon for the rail to leg joints. For the back and side panels, I’m still deciding on whether to use Mahogany ply or go with a ship-lapped back and then glued up panels for the sides. The latter is definitely more period, but ply would be soo easy.
Appreciate any comments.
-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......