"Negative Influence" - Sofa Table made of Pommele Sapele, Curly Maple, Hard Maple

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Project by Jamie McDonald posted 09-06-2015 02:27 AM 5644 views 28 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Keller Williams in Decatur GA hosts an annual event called “Taste of the Towns” that is taking place on Sept 10th 2015. It is an event that focuses on raising funds for several charities. I made this Sofa Table as an offering to their silent auction. This is the first piece of furniture that I’ve made that I do not intend on keeping for myself. It was an honor to craft this piece specifically motivated with the spirit of giving.

This is the first table I’ve ever made. I named it “Negative Influence” because I really like designing pieces with a significant amount of negative space. I woke up one morning at 3am with a vision of this project. Now I just need to learn how to download all those specs when they wake me up like that….

A skill that I have been trying to build since I started wood working was to find a way not to use tape measures for any cuts. I succeeded with that objective on this project. A tape measure was only used for rough cutting lumber to lengths or heights etc… Every other cut was a stop block or edge referenced somehow. No formal layout was done on any parts and when I went into the garage to start building there was no formal drawing…only inspiration. I’ve never had so much fun creating!

Part of what I largely enjoyed about this project was using wood that was substantially thick relative to how thin it appears to your eye. Shallow angle chamfers (11.5 degree) are used on 3 sides of each of the 8 legs and when viewed from the front each leg appears to be thinner than it acutally is. The final thickness of each of the legs at the widest was 1 5/8 inch near the bottom and tapers to 1 1/8 of an inch near the top…. but I used a 11.5 degree chamfer on 3 sides and took the appeared measurements to 1 1/2” and 1”. In order to display “into” the joinery I used a 22.5 degree chamfer and routed it deeper than my maple suports so you could see in to the leg while still make the support a little bit proud of the face of the leg. It made a significant difference and added facets that I liked. I used this technique on every piece of wood in the project. Every piece of wood has a chamfer and a roundover. Roundovers were used on all top sides and insides…... and chamfers were used on all bottom sides and outsides. There were only a couple of exceptions to this rule. Every edge received a treatment of some sort…. in my mind that complimented my intended use of negative space.

As always, I focused on marrying contrasting woods with respectable joinery…. bridle joints, lap joints, and I also draw-bored the legs to the shoulders with dowels. I usually try to display the joinery right in front of your eyes and make it an obvious detail that is enjoyable to look at. Should be rock solid forever! I finished it with Waterlox marine sealer.

54” long x 30.5” tall x 22 wide.

just a few more photos…..

-- "The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides!" --Artur Schnabel

14 comments so far

View Kiwib0y's profile


89 posts in 2073 days

#1 posted 09-06-2015 02:54 AM

What an amazing table. The finish is outstanding. Certainly a credit to you.

-- "It is only a silly question if it is not asked" Don,New Zealand

View calisdad's profile


334 posts in 2560 days

#2 posted 09-06-2015 01:28 PM

Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful.

-- Groveland, CA.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3394 days

#3 posted 09-06-2015 01:46 PM

beautiful table

View Gary's profile


1476 posts in 5375 days

#4 posted 09-06-2015 02:05 PM

The table is absolutely beautiful.

-- Gary, Florida

View sras's profile


5946 posts in 4180 days

#5 posted 09-06-2015 02:53 PM

Excellent – the design, joinery, colors and finish are all first rate!

I’ve heard of some people that keep a pen & paper on their nightstand to address that spec download problem. I should do that myself…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1982 posts in 3020 days

#6 posted 09-06-2015 05:07 PM

Wow! That is beautiful. Incredible work

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3740 days

#7 posted 09-06-2015 11:57 PM

One of the nicest pieces ever posted! The joinery, the spectacular woods, and the flawless finish…....I love all of it!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Vagabond55's profile


119 posts in 4310 days

#8 posted 09-07-2015 02:10 AM

Beautiful master piece.
That impressed me a lot.
Thank you for sharing.

View mbs's profile


1686 posts in 3990 days

#9 posted 09-07-2015 02:31 AM

Great design and choice of woods.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View LoganN's profile


489 posts in 2951 days

#10 posted 09-07-2015 01:15 PM

Wow! Just an absolutely stunning piece of furniture! It is very impressive and I love the joinery that you used on these, as well as the way you used the maple on the inside edges of the bench

View Andrek's profile


615 posts in 2960 days

#11 posted 09-07-2015 03:10 PM

this is one gorgeous table, congratulations. thank you for showing.

-- andrek

View blackcherry's profile


3345 posts in 4873 days

#12 posted 09-08-2015 02:53 PM

First of all congrats on your spirit of giving you made my day! Now let get back to this wonderful piece of furniture, so beautifully filled with natures finest figures. Your design and execution are to outstanding, what a nicely balance piece. Thanks for posting…Blackcherry

View pottz's profile (online now)


16102 posts in 2035 days

#13 posted 08-24-2020 03:28 PM

wow i just accidentally stumbled upon this and glad i did,incredible work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View mtnwild's profile (online now)


3920 posts in 4578 days

#14 posted 02-28-2021 11:02 PM

Like pottz I also just stumbled onto this project. AWESOME, in every way. Design, wood, skill. Incredible!

Really nice projects!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

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