Coffee Table

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Project by bsherman posted 12-15-2008 05:43 AM 3073 views 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I downloaded a bunch of pictures of coffee tables and asked my friends which one they liked the best. This is the one that everybody chose. (I hope it’s OK to post copies here…)

Here is my copy of it. It was a skill-level stretch for sure. I had to make a complete MDF mock up to get the angles figured out.

It’s quartersawn red Oak. I followed the finishing instructions on the homesteadfinishing site, sample 4.

-- Brian

12 comments so far

View lew's profile


13430 posts in 5003 days

#1 posted 12-15-2008 05:50 AM

Beautiful Job!

How thick is the top?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bsherman's profile


76 posts in 4775 days

#2 posted 12-15-2008 06:02 AM

Thanks lew. All the pieces but the pegs are 1”. (I guess you call those thingums through the stretchers, pegs?)

-- Brian

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14192 posts in 5231 days

#3 posted 12-15-2008 06:28 AM

I like this very much. very well done. one of my favorites

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View KnickKnack's profile


1099 posts in 4814 days

#4 posted 12-15-2008 10:25 AM

Luuuuuverly – I love things with “weird” angles, but it works great.

Cool boxer dog – I think all project pics should have an animal in them, just for scale, you understand :-)

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 5044 days

#5 posted 12-15-2008 12:22 PM

Very nice!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Marge's profile


145 posts in 5201 days

#6 posted 12-15-2008 04:06 PM

Looks good

-- Marge, Colorado

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5210 days

#7 posted 12-15-2008 06:42 PM

I really like it. Good work

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 5088 days

#8 posted 12-15-2008 06:45 PM

Thats really nice. I’d be interested in seeing some pics of the mock up and the ‘figuring out’ process.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2858 posts in 4840 days

#9 posted 12-15-2008 07:49 PM

Great Job!!!

-- Dennis Zongker

View bsherman's profile


76 posts in 4775 days

#10 posted 12-16-2008 01:34 AM

Thanks everybody.

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while I was figuring out the MDF prototype. I’ll get a camera to keep in the workshop, so I can be more helpful in the future. There is one picture of it in the background on my workshop page.

For figuring out the prototype these steps worked for me:

Start with the legs. Bevel the tops of the legs at the “splay” angle. 8 deg for mine. (The bottoms can be beveled after shaping the curve.) cut the through mortises in the legs for the stretchers. (Straight mortise walls at 90 deg.)

Cut the stretchers, but not the lap joint where they intersect. Because of the tilt of the legs, the through tenons will be angled up as they exit the mortise. (8 deg? I don’t remember.)

You can cut the through mortises in the stretchers and make some temporary pegs at this point. Remember that if you are using MDF to make a prototype, the differing thickness change some measurements in the real thing.

Assemble the stretchers and legs. Play with these to get the angle you want for the lap joint between the stretchers. This may be determined by the dimensions of your top.

Cut the lap joints in the stretchers and dry fit. From this, you can determine the angles and dimensions of the rails. This was a trial and error measuring process, and playing with the CMS.

-- Brian

View spike's profile


66 posts in 5177 days

#11 posted 12-19-2008 06:25 AM

awesome design. very nice.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6489 posts in 4061 days

#12 posted 09-19-2014 11:00 PM

I like it. The design and the figure in that oak are impeccable.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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