LumberJocks

Nakashima-inspired elm burl coffee table.

  • Advertise with us
Project by WillDyckman posted 02-10-2015 02:07 AM 2940 views 9 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a student project that incorporated a number of significant ‘firsts’ for me. My first time making butterfly keys, first attempt at a slab table, first use of housed sliding dovetails as attachment between top and base, the list goes on.

The top is an elm burl slab that I picked up from Evan Shively in Marin County, CA. It required six butterfly keys to stabilize the various cracks and checks. I made the keys from lignum vitae that someone at the school shop had discarded as scrap.

The base is made of white oak harvested 30 years ago in northern California. I had hoped to have the base entirely cantilevered, but I went with a compression fit for the joinery (this was for a Japanese woodworking class) and, given the 52” length of the slab, there was too much play when I applied pressure at the extreme end of the top. So I added a small hand-planed walnut dowel as a support to stiffen things up.

The butterfly keys initially fit much better than they do now, for the following reason: on the advice of my teacher I tapered the keys slightly so that I could create a nice tight fit when placing them in their mortises. I then went to hand-plane the keys and top and all of that figured elm coupled with the contrasting grain of the keys resulted in massive tear-out. I ended up having to run the top through the Timesaver and remove almost 1/8” of material—which, while ‘erasing’ the tear-out from my failed attempts at hand-planing, also wore down the keys to the point where I had tapered them, resulting in the gaps that you can see in the photos above.

Still, I’m pretty satisfied with this as a first attempt at a Nakashima-style table, particularly given that the only glue employed was to hold the butterfly keys in their mortises.

Cheers,

Will





18 comments so far

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

115 posts in 1095 days


#1 posted 02-10-2015 02:28 AM

Incredible. Excellent execution.

View RMorris's profile

RMorris

30 posts in 662 days


#2 posted 02-10-2015 02:38 AM

Wonderful table. I would love to see it in place.

-- If you are going to make it, make it last.

View WillDyckman's profile

WillDyckman

11 posts in 666 days


#3 posted 02-10-2015 05:32 AM

Thanks, folks. The table is at my friend’s photo studio as I don’t have a safe spot for it where I’m currently living. Once I get my live/work woodshop going in Oakland I’ll be giving the table pride of place.

Cheers,

Will

View watermark's profile

watermark

482 posts in 1402 days


#4 posted 02-10-2015 06:03 AM

Great piece! Love that slab

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View deon's profile

deon

2508 posts in 2485 days


#5 posted 02-10-2015 06:54 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View LoganN's profile

LoganN

326 posts in 1360 days


#6 posted 02-10-2015 12:37 PM

Nice job! The keys looks great (I just did my own first ones this weekend) and the dimensions are solid. I love the base – nice look overall!

View ncdon's profile

ncdon

214 posts in 2335 days


#7 posted 02-10-2015 01:09 PM

Let see, I have a great looking Walnut slab out in the shop, and I need a coffee table, ummm. This one goes to my favorites. Hope you don’t mind but I foresee a very similar table in my future. Thank you for sharing.

-- Don, North Carolina,http://www.ncdon.com Working full time at retired.

View mdennisusa1's profile

mdennisusa1

38 posts in 1612 days


#8 posted 02-10-2015 01:39 PM

Great job and learning experience!

View Ben's profile

Ben

70 posts in 697 days


#9 posted 02-10-2015 03:27 PM

That right there is just beautiful. Well done!

View _Daniel_'s profile

_Daniel_

38 posts in 887 days


#10 posted 02-10-2015 05:14 PM

Very nice work. True to the essence of Nakashima’s Early Minguren End Table.

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

3800 posts in 3054 days


#11 posted 02-10-2015 06:39 PM

awesome table love the living feeling

welcome to LJ’s

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View david38's profile

david38

2498 posts in 1803 days


#12 posted 02-10-2015 08:34 PM

nice work

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

3460 posts in 1877 days


#13 posted 02-10-2015 10:22 PM

beautiful table.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5038 posts in 2606 days


#14 posted 02-11-2015 01:14 AM

Beautiful slab—and even better looking table!

-- Dean

View bobkberg's profile

bobkberg

420 posts in 2532 days


#15 posted 02-11-2015 02:18 AM

Very nice! Good luck with your future projects as well.

-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com