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Project by KnickKnack posted 09-21-2010 12:47 PM 4291 views 47 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This idea of a top “suspended” on splines (I guess they’re splines, but I’m not really sure what to call them) has been bobbing around in my mind for a while. Rather than be gung-ho and make the full scale table, I thought I’d try something small to see what it might look like, and what construction challenges I might face along the way – so I came up with this unnecessarily elaborate ash-tray.
It’s just a single piece of floorboard pine, cut into 3, with “box-joint” type slots cut opposite rather than alternate. I didn’t take enough care and they weren’t quite straight – thankfully my trusty mallet helped me out, as it often does. The splines are just plywood scraps – as you can see, there are lighter sections which I’d rather have avoided – but you never know what you’re going to find when you cut into the ply. If I do decide to make the table, I’d be more choosy about whether or not to use a given ply-bit.
Finished with varnish – I usually like to add some oil to the varnish, but this tends to richen-up the pine, and I was looking for as much light-dark contrast as possible.


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

27 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


2039 posts in 4078 days

#1 posted 09-21-2010 01:03 PM

I LOVE this idea – very novel! I think this has a “Asian” look to it – not quite Japanese, not quite Chinese…...

You might try a dowel in the horizontal to add some strength and keep it from “settling” – I think it might lock things in more. This is the only point that you might have strength issues, but I guess you know this already…... :-)

PLEASE try the full size and let us know how it turns out!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 4884 days

#2 posted 09-21-2010 02:38 PM

What a great idea! Too nice to use as an ashtray. I’m thinking a planter for bonsai or herbs.

-- -- --

View Dale 's profile


415 posts in 4190 days

#3 posted 09-21-2010 02:41 PM

That is a great idea, there are many variations that come to mind, Thanks for sharing.

-- Dale West Central Pa. Do it all, before last call.

View mahadevwood's profile


415 posts in 4029 days

#4 posted 09-21-2010 03:05 PM

looking great..a new idea for ash tray….

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4060 days

#5 posted 09-21-2010 03:14 PM

I like this one a lot.

It seems to have multiple influences with the linear, clean lines. Prairie-Asian-Modern?

I have an idea for something like this and will post back after I build it.

I’d have to agree with Bob on adding a dowel for strength. I don’t think you’d need it for the little ashtray, but for a full-size table, it wouldn’t hurt.

Keep us posted on where you take this from here.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Ken90712's profile


17973 posts in 4198 days

#6 posted 09-21-2010 03:25 PM

Great idea for sure , Looks cool

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Tightwad's profile


3 posts in 3814 days

#7 posted 09-21-2010 03:54 PM

Do not agree with the idea of placing dowels as they would show on the outside edge,(the weight would try to lower the centre section although with good glue and tight joints you should gain strong enough connection).
On a larger scale the weight would be too much and the joints would suffer a turning moment.
Then dowels placed longitudinally through joining pieces (plywood) would enable more weight to be carried.

View Sawdust and Steel's profile

Sawdust and Steel

15 posts in 3854 days

#8 posted 09-21-2010 06:23 PM

Cool Idea.. That would make a nice candle holder also.

-- Rex Roberson, Southern California

View bues0022's profile


256 posts in 4169 days

#9 posted 09-21-2010 07:35 PM

Instead of a single dowel (if doweling is used) you could use two offset like the number 2 on a set of dominos. This would brace from the moment greatly reducing the reliance on the glue joint. This would work easily with a long bit on a small project, but with a bit table drilling said hole may prove difficult. Very unique idea though, it will be interesting to see what you come up with in the end!

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3847 days

#10 posted 09-21-2010 08:21 PM

I find this to be an interesting and unique project. I really like this design and I am thinking I would like to morph this project into rustic planter- logs for legs- slab of maybe slats? across top- mortise and tenon etc. etc.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 3841 days

#11 posted 09-21-2010 08:32 PM

Great little starter plant holder for a windowsill? Or a paint thinner holder for paint brushes for the fine artists?

-- GX

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 4077 days

#12 posted 09-21-2010 08:35 PM

That’s a pretty cool idea. nice work on it!

-- Jim, Nebraska

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3949 days

#13 posted 09-21-2010 08:59 PM

I like your design a lot. Go ahead and buid the full size version!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View CiscoKid's profile


359 posts in 3883 days

#14 posted 09-21-2010 09:30 PM

Clever. Nice idea.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View branch's profile


1142 posts in 4163 days

#15 posted 09-21-2010 09:35 PM

hi cool design i like it i think you should go ahead and build the full size looking forward to seeing it

showing 1 through 15 of 27 comments

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