Bridge Inspired Coffee Table

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Project by lots2learn posted 1172 days ago 2329 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


3076 posts in 1559 days

#1 posted 1172 days ago

It’s quite different an beautifull.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2369 days

#2 posted 1172 days ago

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

2417 posts in 2217 days

#3 posted 1172 days ago

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

-- Dennis Zongker

View shipwright's profile


4899 posts in 1423 days

#4 posted 1172 days ago

Sweet design. It works on many levels.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Daiku's profile


197 posts in 1533 days

#5 posted 1172 days ago

Exquisite craftsmanship and design!
Thanks for posting,

-- Cal Noguchi

View BarbS's profile


2433 posts in 2711 days

#6 posted 1172 days ago

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 2613 days

#7 posted 1172 days ago

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 1235 days

#8 posted 1171 days ago

Great design! Love it.

-- Rory // Milwaukee, WI

View mcoyfrog's profile (online now)


3028 posts in 2219 days

#9 posted 1171 days ago

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 2613 days

#10 posted 1171 days ago

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


60 posts in 1172 days

#11 posted 1171 days ago

Very nice design.. Very cool!

View lots2learn's profile


31 posts in 1834 days

#12 posted 1171 days ago

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


2280 posts in 1551 days

#13 posted 1171 days ago

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 1820 days

#14 posted 1170 days ago

Cool design.

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

View lots2learn's profile


31 posts in 1834 days

#15 posted 1169 days ago

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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