Coffee Table Shadow Box

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Project by Pat Cavanaugh posted 04-09-2014 03:05 AM 1993 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 602 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


16047 posts in 2281 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


3109 posts in 917 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


608 posts in 1783 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 profile


8287 posts in 2125 days

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

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


-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View NormG's profile


5097 posts in 2096 days

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

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

-- Norman

View Roger's profile


17851 posts in 1897 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.

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