Mission Style Coffee Table

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Project by handplane posted 03-11-2009 03:05 AM 4586 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Morris Chairs were a little bit upset they had to share the room with a 10 year old Ikea glass top coffee table so I built this one to make the room a little more harmonious. It is made from solid quartersawn white oak and built entirely with mortise and tenon joinery. The finish consists of several coats of orange shellac to give the wood the amber tone and then I sprayed on several coats of a satin finish waterbased poly. The only metal fasteners in the table are the z-clips that hold the top to the top aprons. The lower table fits into the lower aprons with through tenons. The top has breadboard ends, which are some kind of masochistic exercise in overkill I seem to keep putting myself through, but I think it’s worth it in the end.

-- - Scott "handplane"

9 comments so far

View bamasawduster's profile


321 posts in 4569 days

#1 posted 03-11-2009 03:10 AM

Beautiful wood, beautiful finish, beautiful construction, BEAUTIFUL table.

-- Gary, Huntsville. Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4566 days

#2 posted 03-11-2009 03:23 AM

Very nice table.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4737 days

#3 posted 03-11-2009 05:04 AM

Looks great ,a Beauty. very good build

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View Vince's profile


1281 posts in 4404 days

#4 posted 03-11-2009 05:30 AM

I like it…nice design

-- Vince

View relic's profile


344 posts in 4912 days

#5 posted 03-11-2009 02:22 PM

Sweet looking table. What is its over all size ?

-- Andy

View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 4394 days

#6 posted 03-11-2009 02:46 PM

That is a great job.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View Rob 's profile


216 posts in 4643 days

#7 posted 03-11-2009 04:06 PM

“the morris chairs were upset”, that’s funny. Nobody wants to live with a cantankerous morris chair. It all looks very good. Like the QSWO as well. Curious about the breadboard ends. Are they glued all along and if so how come they don’t get stressed with movement?

View handplane's profile


36 posts in 4835 days

#8 posted 03-12-2009 01:35 AM

The table’s overall dimensions are 27” width, 47” length, and 16.5” height.

The breadboard ends are designed to hide endgrain and accommodate wood movement. There is a great description of the technique in “The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction” by Andy Rae, but I will try to paraphrase the key points:

The breadboard end involves cutting a long stopped mortise running the length of the end piece and three full tenons cut on the end of the table top with a short tenon that runs almost the entire length of the tabletop. The full tenons are located in the middle and near the outside of each end. You pin and glue the center tenon and glue nothing else, specifically you DO NOT GLUE the outer two tenons. You also make the holes in the outer two tenons elongated so that as the tabletop expands or contracts from wood movement the two pins remain stationary and allow the wood movement without cracking the tenon or the pin. I don’t know if this makes sense unless you’ve done it or seen pictures, so I highly recommend checking out pages 288-289 of Andy Rae’s book. It’s an excellent reference for a lot of things.

-- - Scott "handplane"

View stanley_clifton's profile


196 posts in 4678 days

#9 posted 03-12-2009 10:50 PM

I love the use and layout of grain pattern and the contrast that the breadboard ends provide. A very nice piece.

-- Stanley generally struggling

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