|Project by Blackbear||posted 11-02-2015 03:57 PM||798 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
I just finished a sofa table I built as a birthday gift. I spent some time measuring our futon and couch to try and find a comfortable height for the table, and length. The height ended up at 32” so it would sit a few inches below the back of most couches, and the length is 56”. The width was determined by the spalted maple slab I picked up for the project, which is approximately 12 inches wide.
I’ve worked with spalted maple before on smaller projects, but a slab was new to me. There were a lot of fractures along the live edge of the slab. I filled them and stabilized them with epoxy, then sanded the edge lightly to remove any extra epoxy. The ends of the slab were cut at 45 degrees after cutting to length to somewhat match the live edge profile.
The legs were cut from some hard maple that has been laying around the shop for quite some time. They are 1.5”x1.5” at the top, and taper down to 1”x1” at the bottom. The taper was done on the jointer by taping a spacer shim near the top of the leg and repeatedly passing the leg over the jointer until the taper reached a pre-measured mark.
The skirts are curly/tiger maple. I joined the skirts to the legs using mortise and tenon, which was reinforced by draw boring with walnut pins for contrast. I used a router with an edge guide for the mortise, and did speed tenons on the table saw followed by rounding the corners of the tenons using chisels and a rasp.
The slab is attached to the base with shop made buttons so it can move with the swings in humidity. I learned a few things about buttons on this project. The first batch I made had long grain going width-wise. The slab had already slightly started to move and some of these buttons simply snapped in two when tightening. The next batch I got smart and oriented the grain into the skirt, so end grain. I also used some hard as nails hickory I had. These are very strong and flattened the slab right back to where it should be. You can see some of them in the fifth picture.
The finish is two coats of Watco Danish Oil – Natural over the entire project with multiple coats (4?) of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal satin on the table top, followed by beeswax over the entire project.
Thanks for looking!