Coffee Table Shadow Box

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Project by Pat Cavanaugh posted 135 days ago 1201 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a special request from a close friend I’ve known since 1996. He sent me the 2nd picture and asked if I could replicate it. Initially he wanted it to be painted/distressed to match an entertainment center he had. For that reason I recommended building it with poplar and he agreed. Based upon his desires I designed it using Sketch Up. Final measurements were 30” wide x 48” long x 20” tall.

The legs were purchased from an Etsy store as I don’t have a lathe. As you can see they are close to those used on the original. The top is a frame that lifts off the table and holds a sheet of 1/4” plate glass. The actual shadow box sits inside the table on rails and can be removed and replaced should they choose to do so. The joints for the table itself have no mechanical fasteners. Each corner is a rabbet joint reinforced with 5 dowels (3 on the side and 2 on the end). The legs are removable using threaded inserts in the corner blocks.

As I didn’t have the entertainment center in my possession, we made the decision to allow him and the Mrs to finish the table. Clearly after getting it home they decided to stain it. As part of the research to get a better idea of how the original was constructed I learned cost for the original was $999. After all was said and done, I was able to build it for $250 to include the plate glass and the personal delivery from Biloxi MS to Mobile AL. Enjoy.

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

7 comments so far

View lcavazos's profile


4 posts in 135 days

#1 posted 135 days ago

This is awesome and what a great idea for Father’s Day!

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1815 days

#2 posted 135 days ago

Great job, a real beauty of a table…. I’m sure they loved it!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 450 days

#3 posted 135 days ago

Wow very nice looking coffee table shadow box Pat…beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


503 posts in 1316 days

#4 posted 134 days ago

Great job. Glad they decided not to paint.

I’m a Bama boy myself…..Birmingham. War Eagle just to clear any doubt…ha. Again, nice job. I know your friend was very pleased.

-- -Al, Patuxent River, MD

View Rick's profile


6454 posts in 1659 days

#5 posted 134 days ago

Very Nice Work Indeed Pat. Well Done. Thanks for Posting.


-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View NormG's profile


4088 posts in 1630 days

#6 posted 132 days ago

Very nice piece, I am sure it is very well liked

-- Norman

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1430 days

#7 posted 114 days ago

This is a way cool way of displaying anything. Nice build.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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