River Coffee Table

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Project by Tennessee posted 01-01-2016 01:37 PM 2759 views 18 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I actually built this table over six months ago. I kind of fell in love with Greg Klassen’s River Table Collection.
It was supposed to go into the gallery I sell in.

Not having raw edged wood like Mr. Klassen uses on almost every piece, I decided to add my own touch by putting in a walnut strip along the river’s edge.
The basic table is white oak, with tapered legs. No joints to speak of, just screw and button construction on the rectangle box, and the legs are held in from the inside, screwed to the frame like most factory furniture. Solid and strong.

The top I had to do the walnut/oak strip thing, an old woodworker’s trick a lot of you have seen. I’m sure someone will ask me how that is done. It is the same process I used on my “Race of Life” bandsaw box, posted on this site as another project.

At one point I was going to take the leftovers which I glued up into a mirror image piece and use it as a shelf, but it looked off.

When I had two halves, I simply cut the walnut about 1 1/2” from it’s glue point to the oak to form a wandering strip. Then I routered a small, 1/4” ledge in the edge of the walnut to support the glass.

I then mounted the top pieces, (wood only), to the frame and had a table with no glass. I took heavy cardboard and cut it into a pattern that fit into the ledge so it would sit in the tabletop as the glass would.
I took that template to my local glass guy and he cut me a 3/16” or 1/4” (can’t remember) thick piece of bronze glass. It is not tempered but strong and stable.
I knew that the glass might come in a bit big, but I thought it much easier to remove a bit of wood here and there than it would be to grind the glass into place.

While all this was going on, a couple from New York, just moved here visited the glass company with the same request – they wanted to build themselves a table like this.
The glass company knows me, so they said this local woodworker was doing just that, and they might call me. They did, and came over and wrote a check for the table before I even had final sanded it for finish.
Since it all happened so fast, I never got pictures of it.
Just two days ago the lady sent me a couple pictures of it in her living room.

The table is the usual coffee table height, and the top is I think 32” X 18”. Cannot remember exactly. I used the mirror image scrap for a front on a bandsaw jewelry box which my gallery sold over Christmas, so all ended well.

I’d like to make more of these, but they seem a bit niche, and might be hard to sell. Don’t know.
As always, copy it if you want!
Thanks for lookin’!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

15 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2767 posts in 3218 days

#1 posted 01-01-2016 02:05 PM

I like it!

View gsimon's profile


1293 posts in 2316 days

#2 posted 01-01-2016 04:46 PM

I think it looks great
i like the organic or natural lines in contrast to the straight sides and legs
nicely done

-- Greg Simon

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 01-01-2016 05:20 PM

Paul, this really turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2717 days

#4 posted 01-01-2016 05:43 PM

Thanks, Guys!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1780 days

#5 posted 01-01-2016 07:06 PM

That is cool, I follow that guy on instagram, he does make some cool tables. Was the glass and getting it cut expensive?

View mauibob's profile


236 posts in 3270 days

#6 posted 01-01-2016 08:10 PM

Nice design! You might be pleasantly surprised how well these might sell!

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 2146 days

#7 posted 01-01-2016 08:40 PM

I am with mauibob. I really like the design and think they would sell quick.

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

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 2772 days

#8 posted 01-01-2016 09:12 PM

Paul? That’s amazing!

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2717 days

#9 posted 01-01-2016 11:33 PM

The glass was by far the most expensive part, costing in the mid $50’s. Your area may vary. Glass may be cheaper in SE Tennessee.
The rest of the table, wood wise, was about $18, considering I am paying about $1-2 a bd. ft. for white oak. Walnut was negligible. So figure overall, about $70 for materials.
Brushed poly finish, buffed to make it semi-gloss and Johnson’s Paste waxed for a final finish.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2817 days

#10 posted 01-02-2016 12:10 AM

great looking table ,great finish too

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1780 days

#11 posted 01-02-2016 01:07 AM

Ah, that’s not too bad, I think it’d be a pain finding a glass guy haha. Not sure much time it took, but $70 in materials isn’t bad, prob could make a good return on them and I’d bet they sell well.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2708 days

#12 posted 01-02-2016 02:16 AM

I think it’s fantastic!

View oldnovice's profile


7333 posts in 3571 days

#13 posted 01-02-2016 04:19 AM

Beautiful project, I really like this because the table actually does have a river!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2717 days

#14 posted 01-02-2016 11:54 AM

Thanks again to all!
Gixxerjoe, you would be surprised how many glass shops will do that kind of work. Not your window glass Ace Hardware types, but an actual glass company. I use an outfit here locally called Nationwide Glass. They do a lot of business window glass, designer glass, safety glass doors, and they offer tempered, (although they have to send it off since they don’t have the oven local), but no automotive glass.

Originally I thought I needed tempered for safety, but they talked me out of it. Said they had done a lot of tabletops, bar tops, and a few of these crazy shapes over the years, all non-tempered. Free standing tops, like those dining room table total glass tops, yes. This, no.

And it is cheaper. They were the ones that recommended the bronze, since it was going into a oak and walnut piece. They were right. I think it looks a lot better than the green tint that I originally envisioned.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View pottz's profile


3576 posts in 1187 days

#15 posted 01-02-2016 06:56 PM

I like this style so I may do my own version have looked at this table style before you did a real nice job on this for a real modest price I think you can make some money on these test the water and good luck.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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