Parsons Coffee Table - Cherry and Ambrosia Maple

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Project by paxorion posted 01-31-2017 04:25 PM 1068 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I are both fans of simple contemporary design. I came up with a coffee table concept based on the Parsons table line from Restoration Hardware. However, my wife added a caveat that “all furniture must have storage”, which threw a curve ball into my design. I decided to make faux fronts for the 2 drawers with no hardware to preserve the finished look I had in mind.

I wrote briefly about the project genesis during a short-lived blog series. A few facts about the project:
  • I built it using cherry from a local sawmill and ambrosia maple from a hardwood dealer. The drawers are made with birch plywood.
  • The finished size is about 24” W x 44” L x 18” H, with 5.25” stretchers.
  • The drawers are on full extension soft close drawer glides and are ~20” x 20” x 2.5”. I used the Highpoint drawer glides from Woodcraft and are a bit torn about how I feel about them. There is a lot of resistance to open which is good for young kids, but annoying in the end.
  • The finish is an oil varnish blend made with 2 parts GF Arm-r-Seal, 1 part boiled linseed oil, and 1 part mineral spirits

The project took me about 5 weeks and ~30 manhours of work. I would consider this my first fine woodworking furniture project and regardless of the flaws that I can see, I’m quite proud of it. Next up will be a matching side table where I can apply what I have learned.

-- paxorion

4 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 848 days

#1 posted 01-31-2017 04:32 PM

Very nice! I love the combination of Ambrosia maple and cherry … reminds me of my ¬†current project. I’m planning to finish with just boiled linseed oil, shellac, and beeswax … hoping to see more of a contrast between the maple and cherry. Again, good job!

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2544 days

#2 posted 01-31-2017 05:11 PM

very nice

View Bernard58's profile


87 posts in 1045 days

#3 posted 01-31-2017 07:30 PM

Lovely table, the ambrosia maple goes well with the cherry. Very well done!

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

View djhb20's profile


2 posts in 972 days

#4 posted 02-01-2017 03:07 PM

Looks great. What’s going on on the other sides? Ambrosia Maple aprons, I presume, to match the drawers?

And how did you secure the top to the apron/legs?

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