End tables, any suggestions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by derosa posted 08-31-2010 07:04 AM 1332 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2833 days

08-31-2010 07:04 AM

This is my first attempt at making a design, the goal is a matched set of end tables for the living room, eventually a coffee table will be in the works. Sorry for the quality of the pictures, it is the best camera I have at the moment. The overall goal is to have a table that is light looking but far sturdier then the TV trays I’ve been using for the last 3 years. I’m thinking of using mahogany for the framework.
The top would be 19” square, I’ve considered 20” square to get more lip from the legs, would this look good or make the top too large in proportion to the height of 24 3/4”? The thickness would be 3/4” (1” better?) and starting 1 1/4” from the edge it would taper to 3/8” at the edge. The outer border of the top would be mahogany with perhaps an inlay on the inner edge of the mahogany and then a red center that would be 12 1/4 square. The idea of a central mosaic has also been bounced around.
The legs are 1.25” and 1/2” below the shelf would taper on the insides to 3/4”, I’d considered 1/2” or 5/8” but didn’t know if they would be too thin at the bottom.
The arch/apron is 1” wide (should it be 3/4” to match the top?) and starts 1 1/2” below the top and curves to the top in the center. I hadn’t considered its thickness, maybe 1/2”? Should it be screwed to the top in the center?
The shelf is 3/4 in thick and 1” wide so that the legs would still sit 1/4” proud of the shelf. I was thinking of having the shelf made into a grid pattern with 1” or 1 1/2” open squares between 3/4×3/4 cross pieces.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

6 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#1 posted 08-31-2010 07:30 AM

I love the look from what I can make out from the sketches. It’s going to be very subjective, but I think 1” thick would be plenty. I’d go for a bit more overhang on the top….I’ve never felt that I’ve gone too far with overhang, but have occasionally wished I’d gone farther. The arch is a really nice detail…it’s hard for me to envision how thick it should be, but I did wonder about forming the arch just on the bottom edge of a rectangular piece that fills that gap as opposed to the two sided arch. Just food for thought…either way it’s a great feature.

Please post pics when you build it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View CaptainSkully's profile


1598 posts in 3556 days

#2 posted 09-01-2010 05:41 PM

Nice design. I’m assuming you’ve drawn it to scale. Mahogany is lovely and great to work with. If you bevel the edges of the table top, the thickness is less important, so you can probably get away with 3/4”. A 12” tile might look good in the center. There are very attractive granite, slate, etc. tiles at your local home center. For the tapers, I wouldn’t go any thinner than half the original thickness. Don’t worry about matching the apron to the top, just focus on the aesthetics. I would let the arch float to handle any expansion of the table top, depending on the grain orientation. The grid pattern is attractive and pretty easy if you make a box joint jig for that size half-lap joint.

Speaking of expansion, if you mortise & tenon the legs into the top, it might pull itself apart. I would suggest using figure 8’s. It’ll sit flush, only you’ll know they’re there, and they’ll allow the top to expand.

Actually, belay my last. With your mitered corners, you should get very little expansion along the grain, so your mortise & tenon design should be fine. Keep the figure 8’s in mind for solid tops.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View grosa's profile


1004 posts in 2827 days

#3 posted 09-02-2010 01:22 PM

Are you still drawing by hand ? Download Google Sketch up, It’s free. All in 3d. You draw it just like you build it. The tutorials on u tube will help you learn it. It is very easy. Not at all like auto cad. User friendly. And it’s all to scale.

-- Have a great day.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1598 posts in 3556 days

#4 posted 09-02-2010 03:55 PM

Yeah, I was expecting a SketchUp comment. I think that hand drawing stuff is perfectly fine at this point in his woodworking development. He’s probably doing a lot of erasing and trying different layouts and doesn’t have time to do a tutorial before he actually gets to design. People with limited shop time just want to make sawdust. I’m probably one of the more computer-savvy people on LJ’s and I still don’t use SketchUp. Keep up the good work derosa and give SketchUp a try when you get the chance.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 09-03-2010 02:49 AM

I actually installed sketchup to try and draw this project and found it to be unintuitive and annoying to deal with. I could draw squares but couldn’t get them to size perfect and just erased the whole thing from my computer. If I’d had more time and didn’t want to worry about losing the thought before getting it on paper I might have spent more time working on it. Also considering I have drawn excavated villages to scale including individual rocks it wasn’t hard drawing a largely geometric object to scale.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 3402 days

#6 posted 09-03-2010 03:11 AM

Let me just suggest one thing about Sketchup. It is great for initially laying out the look and dimensions of a project, but it is only a sketch. Don’t get locked into the dimensions. Let the project dictate actual dimensions as you build.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics