Elm Coffee Table with Brass Porthole

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Project by Kjuly posted 228 days ago 881 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This table started with an e-mail from Kathy explaining that she wanted a custom coffee table built for her husband, Bill. She had a brass porthole that belonged to Bill’s father and wanted to it included in the table design.We made plans for Kathy to bring the brass porthole to my shop along with some pictures of a few table designs. Much to my surprise, the porthole weighed in at a whooping 49 lbs. I had an Elm plank that was earmarked for a live edge table but Kathy thought it would make a beautiful coffee table.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

10 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


15627 posts in 1501 days

#1 posted 228 days ago

This turned out so nicely. It’s a very nice design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View GaryL's profile


1074 posts in 1465 days

#2 posted 228 days ago

Very nice presentation for a family treasure.
Fantastic work Keith!

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Kjuly's profile


302 posts in 1920 days

#3 posted 228 days ago

I tried to trace the history of the porthole but didn’t have much luck. No serial number or other identifying marks.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile (online now)

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5020 posts in 1943 days

#4 posted 228 days ago

Very nice and beautiful table and a good use of the porthole. That will be a lifelong treasure.

Back in the late 1960’s when I was restoring old boats I acquired 10 brass portholes that were 18” in diameter. All from an old boat that was built in 1927. WOW, I wish I still had those portholes today…! You cannot find the real things anymore …everything is reproductions now
I built a teak cabinet using two of them inserted as access doors.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View Kjuly's profile


302 posts in 1920 days

#5 posted 228 days ago

Hello Greg,
I would love to see your Teak cabinet. Any pictures?

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View Northwest29's profile


731 posts in 1125 days

#6 posted 228 days ago

Very nicely done and quite UNIQUE.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Woodbridge's profile


2672 posts in 1053 days

#7 posted 228 days ago

great coffee table. Its nice that the porthole is included in what will certainly become a family heirloom.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Mean_Dean's profile


1386 posts in 1782 days

#8 posted 228 days ago

I’ve seen portholes in many different places—but never in a coffee table! The elm is beautiful, and I like your tusk tenons!

-- Dean

View Woodmaster1's profile


464 posts in 1222 days

#9 posted 228 days ago

Nice idea should one of a kind project.

View Kjuly's profile


302 posts in 1920 days

#10 posted 227 days ago

Kathy presented the table idea to me with most of the design features already decided. She had searched the internet and found the brass wedges for the tenon. I don’t think you can tell that they are brass from the picture.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

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