Frenchman's Cove Table

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Project by brentmore posted 378 days ago 1494 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As some of you may remember, my wife and I visited Japan earlier this year ( One of the best parts of the visit was learning about the Japanese style of woodworking and furniture design. During a visit to one of Tokyo’s amazing department stores, Takashimaya, we saw a beautiful dining room table built in the style of famous woodworker George Nakashima. This table, called the Frenchman’s Cove, has been on my to-do list ever since and I finally completed it this week. I used cypress wood in the construction of the table, which is popular with Japanese lumberjocks. Working only from a picture, I drew up measurements and went to work. This table was a great exercise in joinery techniques since I used edge joints for the table top, mortises and tenons for the stretchers, and bridle joints for the legs and feet. There are no mechanical fasteners for the table except to secure the table top to the stretchers – something I’m very proud of.

I also learned a very important lesson on table saw safety. If it feels uncomfortable, then it’s probably unsafe. Fortunately, I only lost a fingernail instead of two fingertips.

For build photos, check out the project page:

-- Brent,

10 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4508 posts in 924 days

#1 posted 378 days ago

Striking! Outstanding work and looks great!

P.S. You’r right:: always listen to that little voice, and when it says not to do something—don’t.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CL810's profile


1967 posts in 1620 days

#2 posted 378 days ago

Elegant! Fine craftsmanship.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Oldtool's profile


1781 posts in 823 days

#3 posted 378 days ago

Great looking table. I like the way the wood grain shows in the dark finish. What did you use for the coloring, dye or stain? It sure came out great.
Is there a top stretcher?, where the cross members are mortised in the center?
Great looking table, great craftsmanship.

PS: lucky on the fingers.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7683 posts in 2684 days

#4 posted 378 days ago

Hey Guy!

You did a Fantastic Wonderful job on that table!

You made the chairs too? (something I missed?)

Great wood… Looks just Awesome!!

Very Nice & COOL project!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View JemFox's profile


8 posts in 381 days

#5 posted 378 days ago

Great job!
How did you get the finish on the top? It looks like the grain is slightly raised.


View blackcherry's profile


3156 posts in 2455 days

#6 posted 378 days ago

Have to agree with the crew above this table came out wonderfully. The balance and design just sing a refine tune. Table saw safety is no joking matter for year now I’ve use Grip Tite Magnets on my saw fence which makes the cutting process bullet proof. Please give this a look when time permits. I sure their a video on these great feather boards, best wish Blackcherry

View brentmore's profile


83 posts in 833 days

#7 posted 378 days ago

Thanks for the comments guys!

Oldtool, I used minwax dark walnut and semigloss poly. There’s a stretcher spanning the length of the table joined to the two legs, directly above the bottom stretcher.

Joe, I only made the table this time. Chairs are currently above my skillset. Maybe I’ll try making a full set the next time around. I picked up these chairs at… IKEA -ducks-

Jemfox, the finish was the wife’s choice. She didnt want anything too shiny or smooth. The finish is semigloss although it looks very shiny.

Blackcherry, I definitely lucked out. I’m always concerned with my safety (eyes, lungs) so I was very embarrassed that I messed up and didn’t listen to the little voice.

-- Brent,

View ColonelTravis's profile


571 posts in 526 days

#8 posted 377 days ago

That’s a quality table, my friend. The finish really is outstanding.

View RogerM's profile


445 posts in 1031 days

#9 posted 371 days ago

Really nice work Brent. I have never used Cypress for such applications but maybe I should. I really like the design and the finish. Nice job. Be sure and to sign and date it as I believe it will be with your family for a long time.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13792 posts in 970 days

#10 posted 319 days ago

Exceptional work. Nakashima is my personal favorite.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

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