Starburst Coffee Table - better Pics

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Project by tim0001 posted 12-30-2011 10:31 PM 3184 views 10 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Comments asked for better pictures of this table. Hopefully I’m a better woodworker than photographer.
The table is walnut. The starbust center is 8 wedges of crotch cut walnut sequenced matched to form the circle. the slices were resawed verneer appox 3/16 thick and glued to a plywood substraight. The banding is bubinga and solid walnut outer ring from cut and built-up layers. The legs are mortised into the upper ring. The lower shelf is attached with brass pins. Cutting the wedges to proper angle is critical since any error is multiplied by number of sections. I cut two pieces at a slightly lower angle and than trimed to final fit. Finish is tung oil.

Construction: I started by determining how many slices I needed based on the width of the board (plank really). I had a board about 10 quarters thick and about 12 inches wide. I layed out a circle on paper to determine the diameter and the width needed for each section – about 10.5 inches using 8 slices. Just draw a circle full size on paper and quarter it with a compass, and using a compass find the center between each radius and divide again to get 8 sections. You can use 12 sections to use smaller wedges. I cut a jig the right angle and used it with my table saw sled to cut the triangle from the center of the board making sure to use a center point I wanted for the point. I then resawed the triangle into slices marking each slice. To get a match around the circle I layed out a sequence clockwise of 1,2,4,6,8,7,5,3 to get the best match edge to edge. If you lay them out in order the first and last piece will have the largest diffference. This sequence provides a good balance. After the pieces are cut I layed them out on the paper to check fit and since I cut them a bit long I just slide the last piece into the cicle until it covered the opposite side completing the circle exactly, marked it and and trimmed to fit. Prior to trimming I was off by about a 16th – but sliding the wedge toward the center of circle effectively increases its width. I then cut a plywood circle and using a vacuum press bonded the slices to the plywood. At this point the outer edges are still straignt on each piece and needs to be cut into a circle. Using a compass I marked the circle and then rough cut close to the line with a bandsaw than using a homemade trammel for my router cut the final circle. The outer ring was 4 layers of 3/4 walnut so that the inside diameter was about 1/2 inch less then the center circle so I could cut a rabbet on the inside for the top. I tapped and clamped the outer ring to my bench and placed a block in the center to match the height for use as a center for the router trammel. I took several passes to cut the inside rabbet. I made the rabbet about 1/8 larger than the final circle to allow for the banding to be inset. I cut a strip of bubinga for the inset banding and sanded it to fit the exact deminsion of the grove. I centered the top by placing 8 cut-off pieces of banding around the perimeter. I then carefully bent and tapped the banding into the grove – two pieces – but admit I broke it three times before I got it. The lower shelf is a joined board cut into a circle usiing the same method as above. I cut the legs using a plywood template I had used to make the carabole legs on another project (Shannons Coffee Table) but for this table I just used one side.

-- TimV

21 comments so far

View Josh's profile


1226 posts in 2688 days

#1 posted 12-30-2011 10:36 PM


-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 2458 days

#2 posted 12-30-2011 10:41 PM

Wow, fantastic display of grain! What did you do for the finish?

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2952 days

#3 posted 12-31-2011 12:12 AM

DUDE what a magnificent crotch! The tung oil makes it POP, gorgeous!

And hey, your pictures are good :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2462 days

#4 posted 12-31-2011 12:16 AM

looks great.

View shipwright's profile


8067 posts in 2917 days

#5 posted 12-31-2011 01:33 AM

Really nice work. Gorgeous, and the photography is fine.

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

View DocSavage45's profile


8686 posts in 2961 days

#6 posted 12-31-2011 02:00 AM

I knew you could do it! For us to appreciate other LJ’s work we gotta see it. Thank you! Also for your more detailed explaination. Gives others ideas for solving similar issues. Like me LOL! Lookin forward to your growth and craftsmanship! :) :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2528 days

#7 posted 12-31-2011 04:06 AM

O M G!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View lenb's profile


50 posts in 2471 days

#8 posted 12-31-2011 04:10 AM

An amazing show of craftmanship, very nice. Beautiful, I love it Craftmanship is alive and well.

-- Profile photo is of our big 50th celebration, What a great day that was, July 2011

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2809 days

#9 posted 12-31-2011 04:11 AM

That is just spectacular! I don’t think I’ve ever seen nicer treatment of crotch walnut. I envy your skill.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3197 days

#10 posted 12-31-2011 04:16 AM

A beautifully made table and the star grain wedges are pure knock ‘em dead breath-taking ! ! !

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3942 days

#11 posted 12-31-2011 04:27 AM

Oh how wonderful, just eye popping candy!

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3122 days

#12 posted 12-31-2011 04:57 AM

Thats a really nice job, you should be proud. Tell us more about how you made it, the outer ring and top.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3675 days

#13 posted 12-31-2011 04:59 AM

Really, really, really nice!

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3253 posts in 3831 days

#14 posted 12-31-2011 05:43 AM

Outstanding table—workmanship is first-rate! Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View juanabee's profile


109 posts in 3127 days

#15 posted 12-31-2011 06:03 AM

gulp! _{insert sound of my lower jaw hitting the keyboard} My self-assessment of my own woodworking skill level just slid down a few rungs.

Thanks for the inspiration.

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

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