Curly Cherry Coffee Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by poroskywood posted 03-22-2009 04:22 PM 8594 views 15 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my second attempt at a coffee table. The first was basic. This one I wanted to incorporate a drawer and try using a different finish besides my usual water based poly.
The table was made from some curly Cherry I had been saving in my personal stock pile and the drawer from some left over curly Maple, from my eBay store inventory.
The construction was basic, biscuit join the top, tapered legs four sides on the table saw with a homemade T track and hold down jig. I used dowels for my M&T joint and reinforced them using my Handy Dandy Kreg pocket hole jig. One note about that: I glued up the dowels then locked it together with the pocket hole screws, which eliminated clamping and drying time and gave me extra confidence in handling it as far as strength, I just kept on working and with in an hour I had the legs, top and sides assembled.
I wanted to use a center mount slide on the bottom of the drawer, but it would have made the depth of the drawer less than 2”. I gained a 1/2” by using side mount slides, but was disappointed when the bulky slides took away from my curly box sides.
With advice from the lumberjocks forum I was excited to try a different finish (for me) I applied about 4 wet coats of Watco Danish oil Natural over a 24 hr period. I let it cure all week and then applied 3 coats of Minwax wipe on poly sanding from 320 to 2400 in between coats. I don’t know if that was necessary or not, but I think the finish for my first time came out great. I’ll have a lot more confidence in future projects to try different finish techniques.
Thanks for all the help. Next I’ll try a raised panel toy box for my two boys. I have some ideas and I’m sure I’ll need more advice. Thanks

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

18 comments so far

View jeh412's profile


129 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 03-22-2009 04:50 PM

The wood is gorgeous! Very nice job on the table … the curly maple in the drawer in an unexpected bonus! I really like Watco products and usually top coat with lacquer or poly, just to give it a harder finish.

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

View stanley2's profile


344 posts in 3818 days

#2 posted 03-22-2009 04:56 PM

Scott – the finish on your curly cherry is terrific. You are braver than I, as I would have been worried about blotching. It’s beautiful.

-- Phil in British Columbia

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3796 days

#3 posted 03-22-2009 05:12 PM

Nice looking table. Love the wood pattern. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4011 days

#4 posted 03-22-2009 05:28 PM

Man, that is one fantastic looking table. Great drawer.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3613 days

#5 posted 03-22-2009 06:34 PM

This table looks great. Things I would have done: make drawer front flush, use cheaper material for drawer, forgo pocket screws, and skip the guides and make my own runners. Something about attatching a KV guide to the side of curly maple gives me the eeby jeebies. It’s beautiful none the less.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 03-22-2009 06:48 PM

This is gorgeous. I love curly cherry. Really nice job and clean lines.

-- Happy woodworking!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#7 posted 03-22-2009 07:39 PM

Great lumber and a great job of putting it all together.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3387 days

#8 posted 03-22-2009 10:38 PM

Thanks everybody! It feels great to receive accolades from other woodworkers. My wife says “Thats nice” and its over. With my spiral head jointer and planer machining was easy and the sanding was minimal, although I made extra sure I cleaned off all the glue, a lesson from my first try. Since this was my first attempt at a drawer I was not sure how to go about making my own slides. Any suggestions on how to make a drawer slide for a project like this? I’m saving for a Leigh D4, then I would have went flush with the drawer and dovetailed in the Maple. It is a nice surprise when you open up the drawer, Hello Hello what do we have here? I planed the drawer bottom down to 1/4” and made it like a floating panel, leaving some room for expansion. I gave the table to my Dad and his wife Kate for their Rec Room to replace a dinged up pine table my Dad hated. Kate slipped me some cash on the side and Brandy and I took our son Nick to see Elmo and friends today with it. So it all worked out in the end.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View angelis's profile


54 posts in 3931 days

#9 posted 03-23-2009 05:05 AM

Great looking table, the wood selection really catches the eye.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#10 posted 03-23-2009 05:30 AM

That is some beautiful wood that you’ve selected. The presentation makes it really standout.

A great looking job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Garys's profile


16 posts in 3413 days

#11 posted 03-23-2009 05:39 PM

i like how that came out.. if you want to try another pretty neat oil based finish try Velvet oil..really brings out the figure in wood.good job

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3710 days

#12 posted 04-01-2009 11:30 PM

GORGEOUS ! What are the dimensions , please ? I was expecting to see Cherry drawer glides and I think you could still add them to your piece and get rid of the metal ones . Perhaps a wooden handle would also add to the looks and blend in more with the beauty of the drawer front . Hardware is always an issue as I’ve found out over the years . Do you ever come across any “Flame Birch” in your sawmill business ?

How often do you get Tap Hole Maple ?
I’d like to see how your project comes out …..Karson found some antique taps on Ebay if you’re interested.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3387 days

#13 posted 04-02-2009 01:56 AM

Thanks Dusty, The table is 27”wide x 46”long x 19”tall. I’m not really sure how to go about making decent wood glides. If I could see a picture or get some advice I would try them on my next project. I would prefer them, but am also concerned about the the drawer pinching or sticking. I just don’t have any experience in the matter.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View McLeanVA's profile


491 posts in 3457 days

#14 posted 05-04-2009 06:15 PM

Scott, I agree with all of the other comments. This table is awesome. I am about to finish my first real project which is a cherry nightstand. I’m almost to the finishing stage. I’ve read a few threads about the benefits of Watco Danish Oil. Did you use “natural” or tinted oil?

Again, great work. Very inspirational.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#15 posted 05-15-2009 09:51 PM

That’s blow your socks off beautiful

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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