Waterfall Bubinga/Mahogany Sofa Table

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Project by SPHinTampa posted 01-13-2012 04:58 PM 3474 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sofa table created from mahogany and waterfall bubinga.

The compound legs where inspired by a recent visit to the Cathedral at Chartres (my wife gets embarrassed when I take a bunch of pictures of the columns and the molding details).

Construction details include:
- Veneered table top, pressed using clamps and cauls
- Lock mitre joints for compound legs
- Dowels connecting feet
- Loose tenon joinery for table base

Finishing details:
- 4 coats of Tung Oil for table top
- General finish light walnut oil for table base
- 5 coats spray lacquer top coat

I received a great deal of help/suggestions on finishing from a number of people on this site, which I really appreciate.

Lessons learned:
- Need to buy a veneer press, it is too easy to get bubbles/wrinkles in the veneer on large pieces
- Would not use miter joints on table top a second time, too hard to get a tight fit on a table this size
- Would use biscuit joints to align veneered table surface with outer rails. Not needed for strength but would have helped stop creep during clamping which caused minor but frustrating mis alignments.

If you are interested in further details, I created a nine part blog of it’s construction here.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

19 comments so far

View CiscoKid's profile


317 posts in 1912 days

#1 posted 01-13-2012 05:07 PM

Beautiful table.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View LukieB's profile


962 posts in 1368 days

#2 posted 01-13-2012 05:08 PM

Wow, it’s beautiful, especially the bubinga. Very nice job.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View EyeOfTheJen's profile


205 posts in 1455 days

#3 posted 01-13-2012 05:23 PM


-- Jen ~ Happiness is being covered in sawdust.

View PurpLev's profile


8520 posts in 2687 days

#4 posted 01-13-2012 05:39 PM

nice build. sort of a shame to hide this behind the sofa ;)

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

View ItIsRocketScience's profile


22 posts in 1364 days

#5 posted 01-13-2012 06:00 PM

The bubinga is stunning. Great work!

-- "Down in the arena are the doers. They make many mistakes because they attempt many things. The man who makes no mistakes lacks boldness and a spirit of adventure." -- Gen. David M. Shoup

View Daiku's profile


213 posts in 1946 days

#6 posted 01-13-2012 06:08 PM

Nice job Shawn! I know what you mean about the miter corners, I have trouble on much smaller furniture.

Thanks for posting,

-- Cal Noguchi -

View Tokolosi's profile


674 posts in 1393 days

#7 posted 01-13-2012 06:33 PM

Beautifull wood, elegant design, good looking execution. Bravo!

Ps. I enjoyed the blog too. Thanks for posting.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Alexander Valle-Albert's profile

Alexander Valle-Albert

149 posts in 2456 days

#8 posted 01-13-2012 06:41 PM

Beautiful….thanks for sharing with us…

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2615 days

#9 posted 01-13-2012 06:49 PM

Beautiful table Shawn

-- Custom furniture

View BTimmons's profile


2282 posts in 1523 days

#10 posted 01-13-2012 07:17 PM

The top looks great of course, but I can see a lot of effort went into crafting those legs, too. Cool design work.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Ken90712's profile


15847 posts in 2227 days

#11 posted 01-13-2012 08:26 PM

What a great table! Love the wood and the finish great flow to this!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View StumpyNubs's profile


6570 posts in 1839 days

#12 posted 01-14-2012 02:31 AM

Stunning! That is some amazing grain!

(The greatest woodworking show mankind has ever seen is now online!)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2276 posts in 2147 days

#13 posted 01-14-2012 05:55 AM

Ya made this gorgeous table and then hid it BEHIND the sofa…go figure. When I die, I want to come back as a bubinga tree, so at least in that incarnation, I’ll be admired. :^)

View 308Gap's profile


333 posts in 2041 days

#14 posted 01-14-2012 09:35 AM

Great job and that grain WOW. Could you tell us where the veneer is from.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View vonhagen's profile


529 posts in 1403 days

#15 posted 01-15-2012 03:43 AM

great job, i love bubinga. i quit using lock miters years ago in favor of the miterfold as it requires no clamps and never fails

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

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