Plywood Starburst Table

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 08-11-2014 06:24 PM 2474 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a table my wife wanted for the new sun room. It is 36” diameter, 29” high and a 31” base circle.

I planned on 6 segments but it meant some pretty wide pieces. I did not want to laminate boards to get the width as that would be additional seams so I went with 1” Baltic Birch plywood supplied by my buddy , LJ Doug Scott. Thanks Doug!! The segments are doweled and pocket screwed and glued together. I used dowels instead of biscuits because I want them to come right together and not have any “slide” during the gluing process. The corners had to be right on.

The column is an octagon made from 3/4” maple plywood. I made it 8 sided so I could have a 4 legged base instead of 3 on a hexagon. The octagon apron is made from 1” Baltic Birch with gussets for reinforcements. I made it an octagon because originally the 4 column supports that fasten it to the top were going to be screwed into the apron as well but I did not see any advantage so I shortened them. I design on the fly as you can tell!! Sometimes I cannot visualize the product until I have full size pieces made

The legs and the column supports are made from solid maple. I had tapped 1/4-20 holes in the bottom of the legs for levelers but decided to go with rectangular Delrin (4th photo) so it could be easily slid around on the carpet. They also cannot turn when moving the table. I could have adjusted the leg height with the glides but it came out flat right out of the chute so no need for adjustment.

The last photo is in the white wood stage with the dovetail slots in the column to accept the legs . I did the legs on the router table and the column in the milling machine. My rabbet sled was modified to hold the legs vertical for dovetailing No photos of that. The top was finished in that shot and ready for stain.

The table is stained with Zar 120 ( Teak Natural) stain and finished with polyurethane. The top surface has 11 coats- 5 brushed on in the shop and 6 wiped on in the laundry room. The dust in the shop was giving me fits and took some heavy sanding between coats. I guess I should have shot it with lacquer. It would have been done 2 weeks earlier!!

Here are some process shots:
The wedges were too big to fit any of my saws and I contemplated making a great big sled but settled for using a straight edge with a protractor and a Skil saw and then ran them through the jointer

I used my doweling fixture and made a special end gauge to insure the location from the pointed corner.

I had to make a long extension for the fixture to put the 6 dowels in the halves!

The column was glued using crude but accurate methods

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

24 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3408 days

#1 posted 08-11-2014 06:29 PM

Outstanding—that is really attractive!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View BusterB's profile


2337 posts in 3124 days

#2 posted 08-11-2014 07:01 PM

Wow Jim…. That almost looks like a table….lol outstanding work as usual buddy. I especially like your clamping solution for the pedestal…. Nice!!!

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4450 days

#3 posted 08-11-2014 07:45 PM

Beautifully done Jim!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3919 days

#4 posted 08-11-2014 09:51 PM

Wow Jim! That’s cool.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Cliff 's profile


1924 posts in 2839 days

#5 posted 08-11-2014 10:41 PM

Hi Jim, Those Pedestal Tables always look nice. I never cease to be amazed how beautiful ply of any wood responds to a finish. The doweling looks very precise, is there a trick in lining up the dowels/holes so as the timber itself remains level when the dowels are pushed home and glued? I have visions of attempting a dowel glue up and finding my joins and pieces are all out of whack.
You have some good clamps there Jim, I have some on order which should arrive this week some time.

Back to your table. What a beauty!!! It will be ideal for your Sun Room. Will you use it as a coffee type table or maybe put a potted plant on top?
Those nylon bushes under the legs are good idea, easier on the floor. Jim what are those marks like birds feet on the end of the column in photo 3 & 6?



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Ronald G Campbell 's profile

Ronald G Campbell

1089 posts in 3120 days

#6 posted 08-11-2014 11:25 PM

Jim nice job. Looks like a lot of work

-- Ron Campbell

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26296 posts in 4221 days

#7 posted 08-12-2014 12:35 AM

Thank you all for the nice comments.

Hi Cliff. This will be a card table. We will buy 4 chairs for it pretty soon. I don’t make chairs.
I have a steel doweling fixture that flips over and registers off the top surfaces and the gage end for lining up the parts. They fit perfect center to center and flush on top every long as I pay attention when I clamp it in place before drilling. This fixture is just cold rolled steel with 5/16 holes and I think I will buy some hardened drill bushings for it this year to preserve it. Normally it has a flat square end gage, but for the wedges, I had to make that special 60 degree end gage and keep it exactly the same on both side for the points to line up right. I could not trust the point for a good gage so I made the angle to register on the flat of the angle

Those marks like bird feet are the pattern of pocket screws I used to attach the top and bottom to the column. The bottom ones are not evenly spaced because I had to make the screws miss the dovetail slots.
................Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4419 days

#8 posted 08-12-2014 01:39 AM

what a mighty fine table, i know what you mean about the dust, i was planning on building a separate finish room when i built my shop but i got in a hurry and then had to start on the house, so no finish room ever got made…so the laundry room works for me…or lacquer…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2846 posts in 4799 days

#9 posted 08-12-2014 04:42 AM

Great looking table Jim, nicely worked out with the segments.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 4966 days

#10 posted 08-12-2014 05:36 AM

A great blog Jim. Thanks

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Ivan's profile


16841 posts in 3983 days

#11 posted 08-12-2014 06:18 AM

Excellent building technik.I see you are not on summer vacation – constantly working!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26296 posts in 4221 days

#12 posted 08-12-2014 11:51 AM

Thanks Bob, Bob, Tony and Ivan. I’m sure glad it is done!! Now I can use my shop again!!

Hi Ivan. I’m retired so I’m always on vacation but making wood projects is not like work. It is a pure fun!!
We do get away to the lake and to car shows all summer long ,too. Just got back from a show in Kentucky Headed for Washington State in a few weeks to see my son..
Next weekend is the Buckley Old Engine show….......never a dull moment!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4997 days

#13 posted 08-12-2014 12:10 PM

Dang that is nice Jim.
It is fun watching someone else figure out how to do it. I love the challenges of a build.

Well done,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26296 posts in 4221 days

#14 posted 08-13-2014 03:24 PM

Hi Steve, that is the fun part of woodworking- the figguring!!.................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CFrye's profile


11269 posts in 2955 days

#15 posted 08-14-2014 02:08 AM

What Mama wants, Mama gets! Great job Jim. Thanks for all the details!

-- God bless, Candy

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