Oval coffee table

  • Advertise with us
Project by cutman26 posted 06-19-2007 10:19 PM 1793 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a coffee table that I built this past winter.

-- Jeremy

15 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4188 days

#1 posted 06-19-2007 10:30 PM

oh how unique.
Now I’m guessing that the oval shape was really difficult to achieve (as probably were the legs)

Well done!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View cutman26's profile


17 posts in 4022 days

#2 posted 06-19-2007 10:38 PM

Thank you. The legs were built out of straight stock. The table top frame was made using eight straight pieces and using a combination of 45 and 22.5 degree angles. Splines were used to join the eight pieces together. Total build time was about 25 hours and an additional 10 hours to finish it.

-- Jeremy

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4274 days

#3 posted 06-19-2007 11:01 PM

really nice looking table. Is it oak. Yes i see in your tag its oak. very nice job. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View che's profile


123 posts in 4054 days

#4 posted 06-20-2007 03:46 AM

Great Table, I really like the curved legs.

OK here goes the math geek, but I hope someone can use this trick to laying out an oval. An ellipse is the set of all points whose distance to point A PLUS the distance to point B is a constant. (When point A and point B are the same you get a circle.) What this means is that you can establish 2 points A and B using a nail or push pin or similar and tie one end of a string to point A and the other end to point B and stick a pencil inside the string and pull out with the pencil until the string is tight. The string should look like a “V” with the pins at the top and the pencil at the bottom. Trace the pencil around keeping the string tight and you have your ellipse.

-- Che.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 06-20-2007 03:51 AM

Really interesting design. Great job!

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

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4114 days

#6 posted 06-20-2007 03:55 AM

Nice piece….

-- Bob

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4033 days

#7 posted 06-20-2007 04:13 AM

very nice looking!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4064 days

#8 posted 06-20-2007 04:14 AM

I like that piece. How about some construction details? Does it have finish on it?

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4339 days

#9 posted 06-20-2007 06:01 AM

Nice jointery and overall design. What type of finish did you use.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4105 days

#10 posted 06-20-2007 06:23 AM

very nice table…i love the interesting legs!!!! CHE—-your killing me…i am only a history teacher…my wife is the math teacher—-i will have to get her to decipher…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4433 days

#11 posted 06-20-2007 03:02 PM

nice design, and a complicated little project to build.

I studied as an engineer, but whenever I want an ellipse, I just tie a string together and drive two nails where I want them, and use the string to direct my pencil around the nails to make an ellipse. If I want it smaller, I tie the string shorter, or move a nail, etc. I know there are math formulas for it all, but those books are in a plastic tub up in my old barn!!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View cutman26's profile


17 posts in 4022 days

#12 posted 06-20-2007 05:15 PM

It real is not as hard as it looks. True the layout is critical, but this is where mdf is our best friend. All I did was lay a quarter of the oval out on a piece of mdf to make a pattern to use with my router. Then I had to figure out how many straight pieces I had to use to make the oval, and the angles necessary to give me enough wood to cut the oval out. I used auto-cad for this part. But if you don’t have a cad program you can lay it out on a piece of cardboard with the string method that Mark and CHE talked about. I also made an mdf pattern for the legs. The only thing that you have to worry about when it comes to the legs is making sure that they don’t stick out beyond the edge of the top. For mine I made it where they were even with the edge of the top. This meant that they were at about a 40 – 42 degree angle from the center of the long length of the oval. The other thing that you have to watch for is choosing stock and cutting the angles on the straight pieces that made up the frame of the oval. I cut all my pieces from one board, and used my chop saw to cut the angles. As I went around the oval cutting my angles I made sure that cut them in such a way that I canceled out the error (that is the hard part) with my saw. I also cut them so that the face of one board was up then the face of the adjacent board was down (this is how they would be when they were put together).

It is finished, and I used General finishes Expresso stain with a semi-gloss top coat.

-- Jeremy

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4189 days

#13 posted 06-20-2007 06:41 PM

A nice design Jeremy. I may have missed it, but is the center attached to the edges, or floating like a raised panel? How thick is the center part of the table?

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View cutman26's profile


17 posts in 4022 days

#14 posted 06-20-2007 07:11 PM

It is sitting in rabbits cut into the frame. The center panel is 1/2” and the frame is 3/4”.

-- Jeremy

View rentman's profile


230 posts in 4122 days

#15 posted 06-20-2007 09:54 PM

nice job very nice work

-- Phil, Chattanooga,TN

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