Second River coffee Table

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Project by Tennessee posted 10-24-2017 10:14 PM 2732 views 7 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the second one of these I’ve built in the last few years – as a matter of fact, it has been a while!
And, I have not posted much lately, been too doggone busy. Have a new gallery I display in, so now two galleries, and an Etsy store that is so-so, plus guitar repair. I stopped making guitars January of this year, for a variety of reasons, but am making one now for a fellow in Texas who threw too much money at me. Oh well…

In any case, this river coffee table did make it to the gallery, and one photo shows it on display. The first night there, at a reception for me and four other artists of all types, someone wanted to buy it but put it on layaway. That’s OK with me… I actually think it sold the first night. I guess that is a good thing, but probably have to move on to another right away, and doggone, am I busy!!

Table is mostly white oak with button and screw construction, tapered legs, with a walnut strip bordering the wandering lines of the glass. The walnut has a 1/4” deep by 3/8” wide shelf to hold the glass.

Overall size is 42” long, 20” wide, 17 3/4” high.

For those who will ask the question – how did you get the walnut to mate to the oak with that wandering strip?
Here’s the secret, and it can be used in a variety of things, like cutting boards and any other flat, multi-wood applications. Cutting boards look really cool with this technique.

First, you take the oak piece, which at that time was 42” long, and about 8” wide.
Second, I take a strip of walnut, SAME THICKNESS, and lay it over the edge of the oak, so that about two-thirds of the walnut strip is overlapping the oak.
Double back sticky tape them together.
Third, run them through a bandsaw, SLOWLY, with a finer tooth blade, (I use 10TPI), making sure not to extend any cut past the outer edges of the oak or the walnut.
Fourth, separate the wood pieces after cutting.
Fifth – you will now have one walnut piece that fits the profile of the oak piece, both being created by the bandsaw.
Glue these up. Clamp the heck out of them, and you will have a great bond that probably needs no fill anywhere.
Sixth, after glueup, run thenewly glued up flat piece through the bandsaw to create a following edge on the walnut, leaving a good 1 1/4” of walnut but following in general the profile of the original bandsaw cut.
Seventh – taking a router, create a 3/8” ledge, 1/4” deep, to hold the glass in the walnut. (See pics)
Sand to finish.

Making two of these, you will have a top that will hold a piece of glass. I then make a cardboard template that fits into the two, when mounted on the top of the coffee table. That cardboard is then taken to a glass house that can cut and sand 1/4” glass, in this case bronze glass. I tell them that if they have a problem, jade the edge larger, so I can cut away wood instead of trying to sand glass.
When you get the glass back, invariably it is just a hair bigger than the cutaways of the wood, but it is a lot easier to shave away a bit of wood to make it fit nicely than it is to move glass. Eventually, it will pop into place on the table, and all is well.

Remove the glass, finish the table, in this case three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane, final buffed and paste waxed. Put in the glass, and look at how cool these are!

That’s it – Copy it if you like, as always!!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

8 comments so far

View swirt's profile


5338 posts in 3782 days

#1 posted 10-25-2017 01:56 AM

Beautiful table. Nice touch with the walnut edge against the glass.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30564 posts in 3148 days

#2 posted 10-25-2017 03:34 AM


-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DocSavage45's profile


9009 posts in 3652 days

#3 posted 10-25-2017 03:36 AM

Awe, poor baby! LOL! Good to hear your too busy and making guitars. How are the golf hangers?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 10-25-2017 12:18 PM

What a beautiful table and so nicely done. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Kilo19's profile


104 posts in 1035 days

#5 posted 10-25-2017 01:43 PM

I’ve always loved those kind of tables. What would someone expect to pay for glass like that? Don’t know too many glass tradesman in my area.

-- Justin

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3324 days

#6 posted 10-25-2017 04:42 PM

I quit with the guitars January 1, only to have to build one for a regular repair customer in the spring, and finally, when I sold off my Guit-Steel, the two necked Slide and six-string, the guy who bought it called me and asked me to build another. He sponsors country swing artists, and lends them out. I guess the first one is already on stage somewhere in Texas. The second is on my bench in pieces!

Golf hangers are steady, but not lighting up the world. Probably do about 70-75 this year. Did 56 last year. I had hoped to hit 100, but I don’t think I’m gonna come close.

As far as the glass, I paid $26 and change. That was cut and sanded, non-tempered 1/4” bronze in color. Your area may vary. I know a couple of years ago when I built the last one, (it was a bit bigger), the price was somewhere in the mid $40’s. Still not too bad, but apparently glass pricing has fallen.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View hoss12992's profile


4172 posts in 2703 days

#7 posted 10-25-2017 08:59 PM

Beautiful table

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View pottz's profile (online now)


10423 posts in 1794 days

#8 posted 10-26-2017 03:07 PM

very cool table i can see why it sold quickly.glad to hear your stayin busy,always a good thing.congrats on dt3!

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

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