Porringer Coffee Table w/ offset turned legs

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Project by Ben posted 12-27-2012 11:12 PM 2615 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi All,
Just wanted to share this fun little project.
I built this as a wedding gift for my friends. It was built in great haste in the afternoons and evenings after my regular work

One of the funnest, most rewarding things about this was learning how to turn offset tapered legs with pad feet. There are two center points on each end, mathematically spaced to have the “node” (the part where the turning begins) spin true. So most of the leg is turned on the diagonally opposite offset points, pretty much only the foot is turned on true centers.

Species is Sapele legs/apron with Birdseye Maple top. I played around with the corner detail on MDF scraps until it looked right, then used that as a template to jigsaw it out.
Lots of time spent sanding the top. I found the BEM very challenging to work with and couldn’t get a clean line off the jointer.

Finish is tung oil and wipe-on poly.

Simple mortise and tenon construction at the apron to leg joint. Top is attached with figure 8s.

Thanks for looking.

9 comments so far

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 2887 days

#1 posted 12-28-2012 12:37 AM

Nice table Ben.Offset turning is something on my bucket list.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1099 posts in 3628 days

#2 posted 12-28-2012 12:56 AM

inspiring post. I have 8 table legs finally mortised with router, and now I know what to do with the bottom half of the legs. Thanks for posting. Wish I had that LONG chisel rest.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30047 posts in 2535 days

#3 posted 12-28-2012 02:08 AM

Very nice work on this table

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3774 days

#4 posted 12-28-2012 02:28 AM

Kind of fun doing off set turnings,good job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2275 days

#5 posted 12-28-2012 02:50 AM

Cool looking table. Wish I had that long tool rest, too.

View BusterB's profile


1970 posts in 2205 days

#6 posted 12-29-2012 04:51 PM

Really nice table Ben…

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3513 days

#7 posted 01-02-2013 05:52 PM

Nice legs – can you share the equation for calculating the offsets?

View Ben's profile


387 posts in 3054 days

#8 posted 01-07-2013 02:28 AM

Thanks for the comments guys.
JamesVavra: Sorry to take so long. Here is the source I used for the offset calculations.
It’s a good article, but I was confused by a few things, namely the seemingly arbitrary ankle diameter he defines.
I used the same 3/4”. Not sure what would happen if you changed it.

Good luck!

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3513 days

#9 posted 01-07-2013 01:29 PM

Thanks for the link – it looks like the distance between the outside of the top and the offset center make the maximum radius of the ankle. You could turn the ankle smaller, but it can’t be bigger.

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