Craft / Inspiration Table

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Project by KnotCurser posted 11-24-2013 03:59 PM 1682 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For over a year now, my office and it’s furniture was “done” – with the exception of a table that I could lay out scrollworking patterns on, assemble smaller projects, etc….. I was using a plastic fold-out table I bought at a big-box store. VERY nasty, but it worked.

I waited for so long to build this for two reasons. The first was that I was lazy and had other projects to work on – bad excuse. The other was that I wasn’t quite sure of what I wanted – a drafting table? Something tiny like a school desk?

I finally quit mulling it over in my head and started building about two weeks ago and this is what I came up with.

The top measures 27×41 and stands around 33 inches high – certainly not standard numbers, but I built it for me and to fit specifically in this space.

The frame is walnut with a strip of redwood forming a wave that runs continuously around the entire table.

The top is 1 1/2 thick redwood and floats above the apron of the table – held on by dowels on top of each leg.

I took this a step further and did some inlay work on the table top. The initials, compass rose and gear are walnut inlays. The nautilus shell is cherry and the the blueprint of the Jules Verne “Nautilus” is a carving filled with tinted epoxy.

Finish started with about 10 coats of shellac sprayed on with a HVLP Gun. The top was then also treated to five coats of paste wax and buffed out.

The desk goes well in my office and it looks like it will serve its purpose – job done!



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

5 comments so far

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 1922 days

#1 posted 11-24-2013 04:38 PM

Beautiful table. I love the top. Especially the carving with the epoxy fill. Very nice :)

-- Marty, Ohio

View toddbeaulieu's profile


820 posts in 3207 days

#2 posted 11-25-2013 12:57 PM

Oh my! The design alone is fantastic (love the floating top) but the execution … Wow! I’m really impressed!

I’ve said before how work like this is inspirational.

Could you tell me a little more about the nautilus?

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3006 days

#3 posted 11-25-2013 01:15 PM

Very nice. Lotsa gr8 details.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View KnotCurser's profile


2027 posts in 3271 days

#4 posted 11-25-2013 01:19 PM


Yourself and others have asked about the inlay work on the top of the table.

For this table, I took advantage of my CNC Router and the knowledge gained on a few previous projects to accomplish this type of inlay. With practice and repetition I am finally able to have my CNC both to the carving on the table top as well as the piece that keys into the carving. See this link for more examples.

I HAVE done a bunch of “traditional” inlay work in the past, here's a good example. If anyone is wishing to do this type of work I would strongly suggest watching Mark Spagnuolo’s video on inlaying – it helped me considerably!

The Nautilus blueprint engraving was kind of a new experiment for me. I used my CNC router to carve the pattern of the ship two thousandths of an inch deep and then filled the carving with epoxy mixed with just a drop or two of black Rit Clothing Dye. After it was dry, I used a ROS to level everything off.

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2378 days

#5 posted 11-27-2013 05:50 PM

Spectacular table! Great design and execution on beautiful woods. The great top with the cool inlays make it unique and extra special.

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