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Sofa Table Dimensions

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 04-03-2007 11:57 PM 6317 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

No Rest for the Wicked…

...or the self-employed. Just when I think I am getting some time, well you know the story. I still have not set up anything to drag pictures from. When I first joined I had some down time due to some nasty virus running around and now I’m just behind.

A Resourceful Lot…

You guys are a resourceful lot, as woodworkers typically are. I have been getting inquiries about the sofa tables and I don’t care if you guys make them, I truly am flattered and honored that you would ask.

I am going to give you the basic dimensions and you will have to reverse engineer and fill in the blanks yourself. The Eco Sofa Table is lighter and more delicate and you may want to go that route even though there is less information, I think you can figure it out.

It FEELS GOOD!

Here is my secret to designing something like this. If a table doesn’t have to fit in a hole somewhere I don’t start with a tape measure. I just stick my arms out and say, “This long by this wide”. Then I take the tape and find out how big that is. I literally go by how it “feels”. I am well aware of the divine proportion, I have a whole book on it (fascinating) and have never followed it, I know some of you have to be wondering.

Some basic guidelines if you need them are this. Sofa table heights work in the 28 – 32 inch range really well. The mahogany one I made is 34 1/2” high and that is pushing the comfort level, but the overall proportions are excellent and feel good. It was originally designed to accommodate a middle shelf. We have a small house and need to make use of all the available space, but my wife decided not to go with the middle shelf in the end and it still looks great.

When you are doing an arch in the legs, make the apex break somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way towards the top. The top of the legs should be somewhere between 50% and 75% of the bottom dimension. You will see this reflected in my actual dimensions listed. The principles here are more important than actual dimensions for you guys to learn dealing with proportions.

Another thing you may notice in my design style is long overhangs. I am attracted to them like a moth to a flame. The same goes for curves and arches.

The Big Secret -SHHH!

On these curved legs, only curve the outside faces. Leave the inside of the legs that face each other square.

Note on specs – all measurements do not include any tenon lengths.

Mahogany Sofa Table Specs:

Top – 18 1/2” x 52 1/2” x 1” thick
Cove – 1(+)” deep from edge to center of top, leave edge 1/4 to 5/16” thick. Cove is elliptical and not a true radius. It adds to the sophistication of the look.
Height – 34 1/2”
Legs – 33 1/2”
Bottom of Legs – 2 1/2” square
Top of Legs – 2 1/8” square
Apex of arch in legs at about 19 1/2” from the bottom and leg is only 1 1/4” thick at this point.
Distance between legs – Front to Back 10” / Left to Right 42 1/4” you can just fit the bottom shelf in after making the frame, bottom shelf is 3/4” thick. The bottom of the bottom shelf is 5” off the floor.

  • Assemble the legs and frame and then when you center the top it will leave a longer overhang on sides than the front and back.

Top Stretchers:
Front and Back – 3 1/4” on ends and 1 1/4” at apex of arch by 42 1/4”
Side – 3 1/4” x 10”

Bottom Stretchers:
Front and Back – 3 7/8” on the ends and 1 3/4” in the middle at apex.
Side – 4” on ends and 2 3/4” at apex.

Slats – 2 1/2” wide x 24” long, they have 1/2” spacing in between each other and 3/4” between slats and legs.

Eco Sofa Table

I did not write down any of this information, I built it and had to get it delivered. But this is the info I can offer.

Top – 16” x 42” 1” thick Frame is 3 1/2”w on ends and 2 1/2”w on long sides
Bottom shelf fit between legs and frame was 3”w on ends and 2”w on long sides.
Legs – 32” long
Top of legs – 1 3/8”
Bottom of Legs – 1 3/4”
Apex of curve 18” from bottom, legs 1” thick at this point.
Space between legs:
Front to Back – 10 1/4”
Left to Right – 35”

Once again the overhang is greater on sides than the front and back.

Cove is approx 1” deep as on the other one and is actually elliptical, not a true radius. Leave edge of table 1/4” thick

Stretchers: Front and Back – 3” on end 1 1/4” at apex of curve x 35” long. The top and bottom stretchers on this one are the same exact dimension. The ones on the mahogany table were different sizes to lighten it up because it is bigger over all.

Side Stretcher Top – 3” x 10 1/4”
Side Stretcher Bottom – 4” on ends, 3” at apex of arch, x 10 1/4”

Slats – I think slats were 1 3/4” or 2” wide x 24” long, and the spacing between them I think was 1/2” with a larger space between the slats and the legs just like on the mahogany table. The 8” long black spacers between the slats were not originally part of the plan, but were required to stabilize the curve developing in the bamboo plywood.

Have at it!

There it is. without technical drawings this is what I have to offer. The key thing to realize is how important the basic principles are. They are not rules, just guidelines that will give you a starting point when designing. I hope all the information helps.

I have to get back out to the shop and get some work done.

Good Luck!

P.S. Refer to the photos for the relationship of one part to another.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com



6 comments so far

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2740 days


#1 posted 04-04-2007 02:07 AM

Hi Todd,

I just looked at the table. Absolutely beautiful..very sophisticated look, but elemental somehow. Would you mind if I put it into Sketchup? I can bounce the model off of you for comments and such and then you can post the resulting finished model. I’ll be sure to attribute the design to you in the model description and on the model itself. I will definitely try to build one some day when I feek my skills are up to it….may be awhile..lol.

Again, beautiful…oh, and I envy you those two shops…..I’d like to have one good one.

Regards,

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8775 posts in 2754 days


#2 posted 04-04-2007 02:36 AM

Bob,

You are amazing on the Sketchup drawing! I just checked out your work on the Thorsen table.

Here’s the condition I have for your proposal: You absolutely must give yourself credit as the Sketchup artist.

I will be working out of the other shop next week.

Todd

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8775 posts in 2754 days


#3 posted 04-04-2007 02:46 AM

Another note on the table contruction. I think that biscuit and pocket hole joinery would be sufficient for the construction of this table design. You add a lot of strength by adding a shelf and tying the legs together at the bottom. This table isn’t going to really be stressed.

I got to thinking about that after seeing a bookcase in the latest issue of “Wood” magazine that was all put together with biscuits. I’m not sure I would feel good about that decision, people tend to move bookcases once in a while without unloading the weight.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2815 days


#4 posted 04-04-2007 02:52 AM

great directions!!
“about this big” is exactly how I measure! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8775 posts in 2754 days


#5 posted 04-04-2007 02:59 AM

My wife is a real artist with food, I realized that I do woodworking like she cooks; about this much, a bit more of that, a little of this.

I can be technical when necessary. I had 32 pages of technical drawings and specs for Cooper’s entertainment center.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2981 days


#6 posted 04-04-2007 04:35 AM

Thanks for this information… certainly very handy… and perhaps it will give reason for us to move a sofa AWAY from a wall!

Bob, Thanks for the Sketchup offer as well!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

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