Modern Coffee Table

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Project by Todd A. Clippinger posted 2729 days ago 3441 views 29 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This piece was originally intended to fit inside the Cooper Entertainment Center as the TV console. The plans for the electronic components changed and so I had to make a new console.

I thought that this piece would do well as a freestanding modern coffee table. I added the black base and then had to address the issue of the unfinished back. Since this piece was intended to go inside the entertainment center, the back would never be seen and it had holes to accommodate component and speaker wires.

My solution was to create a floating back panel. There is a 1/4” black recessed channel and then the finished panel is attached to “float the panel.” The solution turned out great and the clients loved it so much they ordered 5 more pieces to with it. You can see them here.

The case is made of curly maple plywood. I had to veneer the drawer face myself. A relief cut into the face and adding a second handle balanced the drawer visually. It was an awkward size for a single drawer and so I made it look like two.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

14 comments so far

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

645 posts in 2767 days

#1 posted 2729 days ago

Once again you made a very beautiful piece!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Dollarbill's profile


91 posts in 2772 days

#2 posted 2729 days ago


Where in the world did you find curly maple plywood? Did you have to sell your truck to get it?


-- Make Dust

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8773 posts in 2733 days

#3 posted 2729 days ago

I can tell you have a clue. My client’s have a deeper wallet than me. I didn’t pay for it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Don's profile


2599 posts in 2811 days

#4 posted 2729 days ago

Todd, I particularly like this piece because it represents a number of design solutions. Even after you described it, I could swear that was a four drawer unit. Very clean and beautiful. When using wood this lovely, I think it best to keep the design clear – let the wood do the talking.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 2945 days

#5 posted 2728 days ago

Those are single drawers! You did a great job making them look like two drawers.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 2880 days

#6 posted 2728 days ago

Very nice Todd. Nice lines and color. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 2757 days

#7 posted 2717 days ago

I love this design. I can’t tell that is single drawers either.


View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2625 days

#8 posted 2622 days ago

Very nice indeed, I love the back of it and like the other people have said I’d never have guessed that was a single drawer and the fake double definitely gives the piece balance.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Napaman's profile


5338 posts in 2711 days

#9 posted 2610 days ago

just seeing this with the new LJ’s format…beautiful piece…this is still new to me but I really love the curly maple…we need a low entertainment center and that is a knock out…great…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 2670 days

#10 posted 2610 days ago

Tod! Very nice. I missed this one…I don’t know how, but I did. I really like this. I’m doing an entertainment center in a home theatre below a drop down screen. This piece is going to change my direction. I really like the modern look to it. Thanks for sharing it. I know it’s been posted for awhile, but I find the shear volume of projects on LJ getting overwhelming!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 2265 days

#11 posted 2261 days ago

Your a man with taste this is the style I just love, Modern but not going over board ..
I love Maple & Black together .

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 2038 days

#12 posted 2037 days ago

This is great. I’m adding it to my favorites to look back on when it’s time for me to build my TV stand.


-- Alan, Prince George

View yuri's profile


135 posts in 2237 days

#13 posted 1677 days ago

Beautiful modern piece of furniture.
What kind of finish did you make for maple surfaces?

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8773 posts in 2733 days

#14 posted 1677 days ago

Yuri – I used a pre-catalyzed lacquer with a satin sheen.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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