Tulip side tables

  • Advertise with us
Project by JonasB posted 08-23-2015 04:19 PM 1341 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Here is another very basic woodworking mixed material project that came out fairly well. I always liked the simplicity and elegance of Saarinen’ tulip tables, so when I needed some end tables I used them as an inspiration. The base is a Bose 901 speaker stand. You can get them on Ebay. If you wait you can usually find used ones for less. I sanded mine down and painted it with a can of satin black paint and they look like new.

The top is MDF painted the same black. I made two disks. The bottom one is small, supports the bigger top and is invisible when the table is seen from any normal vantage point. Its main purpose is to strengthen the MDF which gets a little thin around the inlay area. The top is a round MDF plate. The edges are rounded over with a router and a DIY circle jig. The biggest pain is routing out the center section to hold an insert. I used the circle jig to cut a rabbet on the inside edge of the recessed section for the brass trim. I then lowered the bit and still using the jig started removing material for the insert. After the edge was defined, I removed the rest of the material jiglessly. I had to make sure that the router always had a level reference surface to continue cutting. The inlay needs to be flush with the edges and this is the trickiest part. You are removing most of the surface, so the recess for the inlay needs to be routed in one pass. I went just a little deeper then necessary. I then put 3 short screws in the bottom. I adjusted these until the inlay was flush. I then mixed up epoxy and filler and covered the bottom till it was over the 3 screws. I inserted the inlay and clamped it until it was flush with edges. Excess filler squeezes out of the jig hole in the center of disk that is invisible when the table is assembled.

I made 3 tables using material I found browsing tile and counter top stores. Two are marble and one is ceramic tile. They all started out square. I cut them with an angle grinder with a diamond blade and a jig. My jig cuts a straight line and I rotate the material under it to get to a circle. To keep chipping to minimum I initially cut a very shallow cut and only then slowly worked deeper. I also cut on a slight angle towards the center for a cleaner edge. The brass is just a strip cut to length and bent to shape using 2 nails in a piece of wood. I tried brazing the ends, but this was too much trouble, so there is a small gap that no one notices.

-- Jonas

1 comment so far

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 2664 days

#1 posted 08-23-2015 07:09 PM

Wow! those look great. I like the the mixed media approach, works very well. Too bad I sold the stands with the speakers when I got rid of my 901s.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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