Coffee Table Shadow Box

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Project by Pat Cavanaugh posted 04-09-2014 03:05 AM 3177 views 6 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 1625 days

#1 posted 04-09-2014 03:08 AM

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

View Ken90712's profile


17570 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 04-09-2014 08:17 AM

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


3114 posts in 1941 days

#3 posted 04-09-2014 11:51 AM

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

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


694 posts in 2806 days

#4 posted 04-10-2014 01:33 AM

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, Chesapeake, VA

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10271 posts in 3149 days

#5 posted 04-10-2014 06:47 AM

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


-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK!

View NormG's profile


6226 posts in 3120 days

#6 posted 04-12-2014 12:29 AM

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

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Roger's profile


20938 posts in 2920 days

#7 posted 04-29-2014 11:19 PM

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

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

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