Bridge Inspired Coffee Table

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Project by lots2learn posted 06-06-2011 08:05 AM 3523 views 26 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This table was initially inspired by a bridge on the 15 fwy on the way to San Diego Ca. I was consumed to build something with an arc intersecting the table top. I didn’t really have a definitive plan beyond that and began to build, redesigning as I went. The table consists mostly of Walnut with a Cocobolo veneered top, and Jarra (wavy) supports. The arcs are Walnut bent lamination and are solid throughout. They intersect at the base with large stopped sliding dovetails. For the intersection of the arc and table top I cut boards in half, traced the arc pattern and routed out the material, essentially a large inlay, then glued them together again. This allowed the arc to remain unbroken. The bottom supports are mortise and tennon joinery. The waves are offset one inch from each other left to right and up to down. The intent was to create some sense of motion.
This project took several months off and on, and was a real skill developing project for me. I also wanted to design and build something different. Sometimes I love it and sometimes not, but as woodworkers we are our harshest critics. Any feedback or criticism is welcome.


17 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3137 days

#1 posted 06-06-2011 08:15 AM

It’s quite different an beautifull.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3948 days

#2 posted 06-06-2011 01:31 PM

I’m not a big fan of contemporary furniture, but I really like the design of this table. I think you’ve definitely created the sense of motion you were after. The “water” does seem to move under the bridge. Beautiful choice of woods. Thanks for the post.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2773 posts in 3795 days

#3 posted 06-06-2011 02:26 PM

Very Cool Design! The joinery is excellent! Great job.

-- Dennis Zongker

View shipwright's profile


8166 posts in 3001 days

#4 posted 06-06-2011 02:33 PM

Sweet design. It works on many levels.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Daiku's profile


232 posts in 3111 days

#5 posted 06-06-2011 04:07 PM

Exquisite craftsmanship and design!
Thanks for posting,

-- Cal Noguchi -

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4289 days

#6 posted 06-06-2011 04:07 PM

Wow. How great to see a successful, original and inspired design. And I’ll bet you Did learn a lot from the joinery. Your wave concept below the table top is perfect. I always figure if a design can be artistically pleasing and presents itself needing no explanation, it is a success. How many times have we seen something and thought, ‘What was the intent here?’ only to need a verbal explanation of it to see the concept, if at all. This one works, as Paul said, on many levels. You say you are your own worst critic. I’m wondering what it would look like with the table top lowered, if by only an inch or so? This is where drawings and prototypes would come in handy, to play with it before committing, or ‘designing on the fly’ as you say you did. But it is beautiful the way it is. Really lovely. Thanks for showing us your new work!


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4192 days

#7 posted 06-06-2011 06:00 PM

I know that exact bridge you are talking about. That’s the Lilac Road bridge.

Great design and execution!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View WinterSun's profile


163 posts in 2813 days

#8 posted 06-06-2011 07:51 PM

Great design! Love it.

-- Rory // Milwaukee, WI

View mcoyfrog's profile


4542 posts in 3798 days

#9 posted 06-06-2011 09:15 PM

Great job!!!! Love the design very elegant.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4192 days

#10 posted 06-06-2011 09:35 PM

Here’s the bridge. Isn’t google streets cool!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Kevin_WestCO's profile


62 posts in 2750 days

#11 posted 06-06-2011 10:30 PM

Very nice design.. Very cool!

View lots2learn's profile


31 posts in 3412 days

#12 posted 06-06-2011 11:07 PM

That’s the bridge. I initially wanted the arc to meet the top like the bridge but felt like the top would either require some additional supports towards the ends or have to be too thick for my liking. The supports I built just didn’t look right so I changed the design. I also took some creative license with the water idea. I did wind up using this initial theme on my sofa table however. Thanks for the photo GaryK.


View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3129 days

#13 posted 06-07-2011 04:13 AM

Nicely done!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3399 days

#14 posted 06-07-2011 09:33 PM

Cool design.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View lots2learn's profile


31 posts in 3412 days

#15 posted 06-09-2011 02:21 PM

If your going to the San Diego fair, this table is on display at the design in wood competition starting tomorrow until July 4th.


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