Walnut, Wenge, Glass, Sand turn into a coffee table

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Project by SPHinTampa posted 11-10-2010 07:29 PM 3693 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One too many design elements in this project … so I may rebuild top.

Original inspiration is a Japanese calligraphy box – students could practice in sand without wasting ink or paper. (see pic 3)

Created mitered box from walnut, with rabbet at bottom to accept a 1/2” plywood base.

Base was created from Wenge (tough wood that splitters easily, dust is hell on your lungs but it looks awesome).

Cut curves in the rails on bandsaw. Cut cabriolet legs on bandsaw (pic 6). Cleaned up both using Rigid Oscillating Drum Sander. Rails are joined into legs via floating tenons cut using my Mortise Pal.

There are two horizontal stretchers between the long rails at 1/3 of the length. The top floats on these rails and is screwed thru elliptical holes the plywood rather than glued to adjust for wood movement.

Finished using Deft Brush On Lacquer

Filled using sifted leveling sand. Created little rake using dowels used to create the sand garden effect in the sand. People can not resist playing with it when they come over.

However, my wife hated the fact that it was more of a toy than a table so I had to route a rabbet in the top and install a glass top. I think this creates a cluttered effect, so I may replace the glass with a 4” frame across the top so it can be used as a table as well. But I am concerned it will make the top look too heavy for the very light looking legs.

Lessons learned:
- Next time I will use a keyed miter for sides … no separation 3 years but I still worry.
- Next I will use 6/4 vs 4/4 stock for base .. base looks too flimsy
- Simple designs are better … focus on 1 or 2 key design elements (sand and curved legs in this case)

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

2 comments so far

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3019 days

#1 posted 11-10-2010 09:23 PM

Cool, very cool. Love it. Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

71 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 11-13-2010 06:36 PM

Ha.. My son would LOVE an indoor sandbox for his trucks and cars.. Me? Not so much.. :) ;)

Nice work on the table! I’d seen someone do a sand garden in their porch one time.. Was very cool.

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