Asian influenced coffee tables #2: This should have been #1

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Blog entry by childress posted 01-07-2010 09:07 AM 1949 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Started milling table top Part 2 of Asian influenced coffee tables series no next part

Here are the basic google sketches I’ve done. I have enough myrtle to make two tabletops, so I’m thinking of making both styles here. I am making the legs and frame for table #1 out of black walnut. The same black walnut that came in this free lot of wood. As for table #2. I havn’t decided yet. I do have enough Jatoba sitting around… Any thoughts or comments welcome.

Table #1

Coffee table 3

Table #2
Asian table 1

-- Childress Woodworks

6 comments so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3493 days

#1 posted 01-07-2010 04:02 PM

I’ve traveled in Asia quite a bit and I have one insight to share. If this is to be a dining table and if you want it to be like actual dining tables in Asia, it needs to be round. Virtually all formal dining tables in Asia are round and they often have a lazy susan in the middle, especially if the table is large. If you intent is to make non-dining table or if you want a rectangular dining table with some Asian influence please ignore my comment.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1610 posts in 3977 days

#2 posted 01-07-2010 06:46 PM

I love the floating top on the first one.

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

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3961 days

#3 posted 01-08-2010 08:19 AM

Thanks Rich. It’s always good to hear from someone with first hand knoweledge. I am, however, making smaller coffe tables due to the size of the myrtle slab I have. I basically want to have some design characteristics of japanese furniture.

Thanks Captain. I do too, that’s why I’m building that one first…

-- Childress Woodworks

View 's profile

593 posts in 4391 days

#4 posted 01-09-2010 07:43 AM

Beg to disagree, Rich. Almost all tables in Japan are rectangular. Last time I checked Japan was indeed part of Asia, but if you meant China then I don’t know, you’re probably right. Also, no lazy susans at all here. Not even in the cheapest Chinese restaurants and, even less, in a formal dining table.

Both of the tables look fine Childress although if you want them to look really asian don’t overdo it. Nowadays most furniture here looks more like the one you see in Ikea. No flaring arches, reverse tapers, etc. I’ve only seen once a reverse taper leg in a table. It was in a small occasional table at a Buddhist shrine.

Just my “on-the-field” two cents (or two yen, as you prefer it).

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3961 days

#5 posted 01-09-2010 08:50 AM

Thanks Jojo, appreciate the comments. I totally agree with you about not overdoing it. I think I went too far with curves on the second sketch. I’ll probably tone it down a bit during fabrication. I’ve noticed in doing research that most “japanese” tables are very simple and square. At least the contemporary ones. Thanks again

-- Childress Woodworks

View 's profile

593 posts in 4391 days

#6 posted 01-09-2010 09:09 AM

You are welcome, Childress. In the past I’ve been guilty myself of overstating some designs but time has taught me that is better to just hint at some influences. At least that is how I prefer my designs nowadays.

Sadly, you are right, nowadays most of the contemporary furniture design in Japan doesn’t even deserve that name. Straight, square, dull and boring.

The more I look at your tables, the more I like the second one with the ”torii”-like stretchers. I’d probably straighten up a little bit the vertical angles of the legs but I really like the concept.

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