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Coffee Table

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Project by R.A. Ray posted 05-13-2010 11:07 PM 1767 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My very first woodworking project. My wife (then fiancee) was required to build a piece of furniture for her set-building class in college. Instead of just building a prop, we decided to build a table that we could continue to use.

The unique aspect of this design is that the legs are not actually attached to the top. Rather the legs each have a peg that fits through a hole in the top and then whole thing stays together with gravity. The detailing on the surface was hand-etched using a rotary tool and then stained to give it an in-laid look.

The table top is two sheets of laminated ply and the legs are made of two four-by-fours that have been glued together. All the wood is cheap lumber from a hardware store. While I am proud of the effort made by us college students on a budget, both money and time, and while I still generally enjoy the design, I am not at all pleased with the quality of construction and will likely remake this table at some point in the future.

The table is about 5.5’ long and 15” tall.





9 comments so far

View Zach117's profile

Zach117

19 posts in 1711 days


#1 posted 05-13-2010 11:44 PM

Cool idea. I bet that thing racks like a S.O.B.

View R.A. Ray's profile

R.A. Ray

19 posts in 1586 days


#2 posted 05-14-2010 12:07 AM

Can you clarify what you mean by “racks”?

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2299 days


#3 posted 05-14-2010 12:18 AM

very cool. I like the simplicity of it all.

questions:
1. how long has it been standing/used? (which also leads to number 2)
2. does it show any signs of sagging in the middle? (I don’t see supports for the top in the pics)

just curious as from my experience 3/4” plywood tends to sag in the middle without support to hold it up.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112070 posts in 2228 days


#4 posted 05-14-2010 12:33 AM

Welcome to Ljs
A cool design RA
racking is slanting or twisting . as in a week structure like a table and a heavy object is placed on one end and the table leans that way at a tilt.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View R.A. Ray's profile

R.A. Ray

19 posts in 1586 days


#5 posted 05-14-2010 12:45 AM

@a1Jim Thanks for enlightening me!

@Zach117 Actually, no. The table is remarkably stable. We have two cats and they both enjoy jumping on it and sleeping on the glass and we’ve never had any stability issues.

@PurpLev It’s been used by both us, and our cats (see above) heavily for about 3.5 years now. Unfortunately, yes, there is some sagging in the middle, but not as bad as you might suspect. The rebuild will include two more legs for the middle on either side of the glass. The top is actually a 1/2” sheet glued to a 3/4” sheet so it has a functional thickness of about 1”.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2299 days


#6 posted 05-14-2010 12:51 AM

Thanks.

FYI – to deal with the sagging while STILL keeping the entire open space under the table, you might want to consider adding some aprons between the legs to support the top without the need for 2 middle legs that 1. block the center under table space, and 2. (more importantly) will make it harder to level the table on the floor since you’ll have to align 6 legs to be level (or start shimming them).

good luck

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View R.A. Ray's profile

R.A. Ray

19 posts in 1586 days


#7 posted 05-14-2010 01:56 AM

I’ve added a disassembled shot which should give a better idea of the structure.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34874 posts in 3051 days


#8 posted 05-19-2010 03:46 AM

Nice construction. Butter luck on your contuinued table making experience.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5111 posts in 2363 days


#9 posted 06-11-2010 02:40 AM

Nice looking table, I have to admit i saw ‘router table’ when I saw the glass portion…maybe I need more time in the shop LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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