Modern Coffee Table

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Project by Simeond posted 01-13-2014 03:23 AM 1531 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a very simple mid-century modern coffee table, which presented its own share of challenges. The customer wanted two natural edges (walnut) but wanted it to stay within 14-16” wide. This took some extensive wood sourcing… Then they didn’t want an apron (in keeping with mid-century style), but wanted splayed legs in two directions. I found a good hardward to splay the legs, but the angle wasn’t sufficient, so I added angled blocks to achieve the leg angles. I attempted to convince the customer to have thru-tenons that were wedged into the tops, to no avail. I wouldn’t recommend this piece as a bench. But it is tight and firm as a coffee table.

The result is simple and clean. Critique is welcome.

-- "...a band of small discoveries, strung like pearls on a thread of curiosity, lending richness to our work...." - James Krenov.......

5 comments so far

View cathyb's profile


819 posts in 3387 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 04:50 AM

Hahahaha…. it’s fun to see that other people share my misery at times! I was commissioned several years ago to make an entry way bench, which is quite similar to your table. I had to make the legs twice because they wanted the wider angle. The old adage that “the customer is always right” simply is not so. On the other hand, if you make the piece which will last a life time and instead they want a piece that has some engineering issues, what do you do? I made the bench that they insisted that I construct. It will certainly fail someday, the first one would have lasted for a century. Oh Well!!!!!!
Hang in there, maybe your next customer will listen to reason….....

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2014 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 06:48 AM

For what it’s worth, I think it looks great—definitely a conversation piece.

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View Picklehead's profile


1043 posts in 2072 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 01:49 PM

Very nice piece of wood for the top. Perfect for this application, balanced, like the contrast between sapwood and heartwood. If you managed to pull off the construction strength, then I’d say you satisfied everybody in the “committee” that created this piece. My dad loves to joke: “All you have to do is …....................”

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View madts's profile


1869 posts in 2482 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 08:47 AM

Very interesting. No pics of your engineering issues? Sob. Looks very good by the way.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 2624 days

#5 posted 02-03-2014 09:13 AM

I added to my favs do to the neatness factor. I like the lines of the table top and have a need to replicate it. Thanks for the post.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

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