Coffee Table Build #1: Design, Lumber, Rough Cutting, Top

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Blog entry by RoadHogg posted 05-08-2014 12:44 AM 2292 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Coffee Table Build series Part 2: Panel Building »

I was asked to build a coffee table. I would call it more a coffee cabinet but that just sounds strange. The reason I’d call it a cabinet is, it’s not a “table” per se, not a top with legs. It’s a big box with drawers. We have decided upon a basic design, a stain colour and the material. Fortunate for me, the material is quarter sawn white oak. I love this lumber.

Here’s the basic design we’re going for:

The difference is, this table will be HUGE! They want it to be 42” square! I told him that the day I bring it over he has to have people there to take it inside because I am NOT going to lift that table! heh

Yesterday I picked up some QSWO and today I started picking through it and choosing appropriate boards for the top. This is basically what I came up with:

I know it’s hard to see any detail in that picture but that’s the best I can do. That’s a 12” rule on the lumber for scale. The lumber is cut to about 47” in shown in the picture.

Before the purists get on me about staining QSWO and not going Craftsman, I’ve done my best to guide the guy into what would be more appropriate but, in the end, he gets what he says he wants.

Honestly, I tried, unsuccessfully to get him to agree to something like this (with a solid top):

I jointed and glued all the boards into one huge panel. I cut it square on one end then crosscut it to just over-size.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

2 comments so far

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295 posts in 1620 days

#1 posted 05-09-2014 04:04 PM

I like the customer’s version better than your suggestion. Forget about the purists. Make what you want to make. Or what you want to get paid to make.

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127 posts in 1953 days

#2 posted 05-09-2014 07:20 PM

Thanks for the feedback. My only hope is it turns out to be what he has in his head, or more pleasing. Time will tell.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

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