Wrap-Around Coffee Table

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Project by Will Stokes posted 12-29-2010 11:37 PM 5187 views 12 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first “commission” piece: a wrap-around coffee table for my brother. He basically dictated the design almost entirely since he liked a lot of aspects of a table that belonged to one of this friends. I tried to make his a little unique by using sap wood to emphasize the wrap-around design, using half-blind dovetails when building the drawers, and integrating four secret compartments. The table is rather large (3’ x 3’), which made some of the steps during construction a little challenging, especially the long miter joints. As usual this project required tackling a lot of new things for me:

-giant miter joints
-half-blind dovetails (I used Rockler’s router jig)
-secret compartments
-haunched tenons

Anyhow, I’m somewhat relieved to finally have completed this project I began back in September.

24 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5175 days

#1 posted 12-30-2010 12:12 AM

Very cool.

Nice choices made regarding use of the sapwood.

Nice Job!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4144 days

#2 posted 12-30-2010 12:26 AM

Fantastic looking piece – your client will be very happy I’m sure!

Good eye on the wrap around areas – that really ties the piece together.

I am sure more commissions will follow with work like this!


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

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4436 days

#3 posted 12-30-2010 12:35 AM

Hey Will,
That is one cool table…nice job.

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 4644 days

#4 posted 12-30-2010 01:05 AM

your a braver man than I for attempting those long miters.

-- Aaron in TN -

View dub560's profile


628 posts in 3988 days

#5 posted 12-30-2010 01:15 AM

very nice imagination on this one..sweet

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 12-30-2010 01:32 AM


Looks very ‘60s in style. I love the secret compartments…although the handle in the bottom of the drawer kinda gives that one away :)

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4126 days

#7 posted 12-30-2010 01:35 AM

I really like your use of the sapwood to emphasize your construction technique here. Well done Will!

Congratulations on your first commission as well. I’ve got a few pieces of walnut with some sapwood in them that I purchased intentionally to try and be creative with, so thanks for catalyst to spur my creative juices!

A fine piece of craftsmanship, that I’m sure you took to the next level, compared to the piece this is loosely based on.

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

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4763 days

#8 posted 12-30-2010 01:52 AM

Beautiful Cherry complimented by your skills in putting it all together : )
Are they still secret compartments now that they’re on the www ? LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View lew's profile


13353 posts in 4830 days

#9 posted 12-30-2010 03:28 AM

Love the sap wood!


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

View missingdigitworkshop's profile


148 posts in 4203 days

#10 posted 12-30-2010 04:14 AM

Very nice.

-- Do not be discouraged by those who don't. Be inspired by those who do.

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 4429 days

#11 posted 12-30-2010 04:20 AM

@doorslammer: I will probably never attempt such long miter joints ever again. Gluing them up was a bear and unfortnately in order to get them tight the vertical height for the drawer is about 1/32 less toward the outer edge. This made fitting the drawers a real PITA. Oh well.

@Dragonlady: Two drawers have false bottoms. One is removed by pushing down on the back end of the drawer. The other had a special handle. The handle is not there permanently, I hide it in another secret compartment. If you find it and fish it out, you’ll see it has a magnet attached to the bottom. If you slide it around on the other false bottom it will eventually stick to another magnet glued to the bottom side.Thus when not present the false bottom is more or less undetectable. :-)

@Jonathan: In case it hasn’t become obvious by now, I’m addicted to matching up sap wood by gluing up panels. That and I got a good deal on the cherry I’ve been using for the last year or so, although that cherry has a lot of sap wood in it to work with. :-)

@Dusty56: You all are sworn to secrecy!!! :-)

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4724 days

#12 posted 12-30-2010 04:26 AM

those miters look fantastic, at that scale I bet it was a great ordeal -well done!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Rustic's profile


3257 posts in 4671 days

#13 posted 12-30-2010 05:08 AM

very nice Will

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4652 days

#14 posted 12-30-2010 05:19 AM

cool design and super build.


View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 4028 days

#15 posted 12-30-2010 06:13 AM

It came out great. Your brother should be very happy.

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

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