LumberJocks

Looking for assistance with a coffeetable design

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Bj_D posted 779 days ago 1874 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bj_D's profile

Bj_D

10 posts in 779 days


779 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: oak joining

I’m looking to build a coffee table and need assistance with the design on how the legs will attach.

The plan was to make the top styled after a butchers block/workbench and finish it with a weathered/used look.

In looking for ideas, I came across this website and loved the look of this table:

http://www.brueg.com/projects/butcher-block-coffee-table/

instead of using solid legs in a “hoop” fashion, I plan to use stacked oak plywood ( I have alot of scraps leftover from a big project) and and mitre the corners showing the exposed ply edge all the way around. I’d love to assemble this table without any stringers (like the one on the site) but am concerned about a need for some additional support for these joints (the legs) and the legs attached to the top). If feasible, I’d love to have my top in 3 sections as well.

I’m looking for suggestions on how to join the legs to the table and keep this solid and sturdy.

The top is made from reclaimed 2×4’s planed down to 2.5 inches and the legs again are stacked and glued oak ply 2.5 inch square.

-- It's hard to focus on the daily stresses when using power tools.


11 replies so far

View PineChopper's profile

PineChopper

175 posts in 797 days


#1 posted 778 days ago

Have you tried looking at the projects list then go to tables. You might be able to get some good ideas.

View Bj_D's profile

Bj_D

10 posts in 779 days


#2 posted 775 days ago

I’m wondering if what I want to do ultimately isn’t possible. I’ve been hrought he projects list.

-- It's hard to focus on the daily stresses when using power tools.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2249 days


#3 posted 775 days ago

anything is possible if you think it through. you could mortise the top to take the legs in for added stability. it being a coffee table would be on the smaller side of tables, and might just work out. I’m not sure though what you mean about the legs being stacked and mitered exposing the plies (visually I’m not getting it).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bj_D's profile

Bj_D

10 posts in 779 days


#4 posted 754 days ago

Think squares of plywood glued on top of each other to create a “board” but being able to see the horizontal layers of the ply.

Similar to how the plywood is used to make this : http://www.maumdesign.com/images/edge/ed2.jpg

-- It's hard to focus on the daily stresses when using power tools.

View JarodMorris's profile

JarodMorris

165 posts in 976 days


#5 posted 754 days ago

I love the idea of using plywood stacked. We usually think of how to hide that we’re using plywood (Edge banding, etc.) I like this because you just put it out there and say “Yeah, it’s plywood and it’s great.” Very cool use of plywood.

-- Dad: Someone was supposed to pick up his toys! Son: My name isn't "Someone".

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1570 days


#6 posted 754 days ago

Regarding the legs, if your squares are all the same, you could make a jig for boring a hole in the middle, glue them and connect with a threaded rod, to keep it all tight and stiffen it up. I’m not exactly sure where you’d begin cleaning it up if you didn’t have a thickness sander.

As for attaching the top, hmmm. How would it be if you made a top of doubled up plywood, that you could then attach the legs to using the threaded rod, then glue down strips of oak and edge the whole thing? You could make it look like three sections then – though you’re effectively adding a thick veneer.
The only downside is you’d lose the end grain at the table ends.

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 844 days


#7 posted 754 days ago

mortise and tenon. in this case, make the top 2 layers of the legs smaller than the rest. this will be the tenon. and then mortise the underside of the tabletop and voila. for more support, you could have a hidden plywood stringer between the legs which are also inset into the underside of the tabletop. the glue up is gonna be messy!

plywood is amazing stuff and i may just have to try out a similar project down the line.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Bj_D's profile

Bj_D

10 posts in 779 days


#8 posted 754 days ago

Originally, I had planned to set the legs stacked but mitred like a frame (it would keep that “exposed stack” visible from all sides) so that the stack detail woudl be seen breaking up the butcher’s clock looking top.

I’ve been pretty impressed how how well the stacked and glued plywood holds up strength-wise.

I’ve considred the attachment of the legs to the top with beefy fasterners and plugs if needed, to maintain the design.

-- It's hard to focus on the daily stresses when using power tools.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1451 days


#9 posted 754 days ago

I have a little concern about JC’s idea because plywood that small can delaminate, and if I am understanding his suggestion I think there could be a lot of leverage on the weakest part of the structure. The top is going to be extremely heavy to sit upon legs that have no stretchers to spread out the stress.

My other issue is sanding the plywood stacks smooth, It’s worth some experimenting.

How tall is the table?

Can somebody think of a way that he could get the effect of the ply through the tabletop, glued up as a whole, with the matching substructure attached from the underside?

I’m beginning to like this design idea more and more.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 844 days


#10 posted 754 days ago

That’s an excellent point Lee. My thinking is that the table is pretty small and will not be stressed structurally speaking, but I did suggest the hidden ply-stringer to help. My mind is reeling with variations on this idea.

Having never laminated ply before, I’m curious how the glue lines are going to turn out. A hardwood spline would be an interesting addition to help even further. Really Im just opposed to using hardware when it can be avoided.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Bj_D's profile

Bj_D

10 posts in 779 days


#11 posted 754 days ago

I’ve contemplated a spline, figuring it wouldn’t change the look THAT much. It’s a coffee table design, so not terribly tall ( I can’t recall the exact dimensions while at work. The top is pine (seen on the right side of the pic) planed down to a 2.5 inch thickness. It’s not terribly heavy.

I could add a pine or ply stringer without taking away TOO much from what I want to do.

Yes, highlighting the ply hit me when testing out some custom stain mixes one day. Take a favoite stain and apply to 3/4 oak ( that’s just what I happen to have laying around) ply. The result is pretty cool looking.

I thought it would set off as a nice detail to the worn/weather butcher’s block/workbench top.

-- It's hard to focus on the daily stresses when using power tools.

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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase