Floating Top Table

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Project by SouthpawCA posted 08-19-2011 03:17 AM 5869 views 10 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all … I’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile. Then, in the latest issue of Wood (#206) there it was. I had to finally make the Floating Top Table. I hardly followed the directions other than to get the dimensions. Most everything I do is done with planes and this was no exception. After the pieces were cut to nominal size (on a TS which is basically my one power tool) I planed them to exact size. The tapers on the legs were also hand planed. As was the thicknessing, squaring, and edge treatment of the top. Mortise and tenons were also cut using chisels, my handy pull saw and a plane.

The woods are Ash and Black Walnut – I didn’t vary from the plan there at all. The base is finished with super blonde shellac and the Black Walnut top and support pieces are finished with garnet shellac. Then I finished the finish first with wet/dry 220 followed with 320 followed with the green, maroon, grey, and finally the white abrasive cloth things (I forgot what they are called) and then waxed.

It was a pleasure to actually finally make this design and now I’m thinking of adding a few more, getting rid of the store bought stuff we currently have.

-- Don

17 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5102 days

#1 posted 08-19-2011 03:36 AM

That is Super COOL!

How much of the Top is connecting to something?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View cwdance1's profile


1163 posts in 4309 days

#2 posted 08-19-2011 03:59 AM

The table is beautiful, you did a wonderful job on it.

I do have one question for you. The design of the legs looks great but I would like to no how strong does the table feel? I would like to make two tables like yours but was worried about legs.

Thanks for sharing.

View lysdexic's profile


5348 posts in 3673 days

#3 posted 08-19-2011 04:45 AM

I like this table a lot

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View SouthpawCA's profile


277 posts in 4283 days

#4 posted 08-19-2011 05:34 AM

The top feels and is actually very secure to the base. It’s held on with 4 figure 8 table top fasteners – – which are screwed to the bottom of the top and to the walnut supports which are mortised to the base aprons.

-- Don

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5102 days

#5 posted 08-19-2011 05:52 AM

Aghhhhaaaa…. so simple… I expected something a lot more elegant! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3525 days

#6 posted 08-19-2011 07:22 AM

Very nice table, i am curious though, why did you choose to taper the legs towards the inside?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4239 days

#7 posted 08-19-2011 10:46 AM

I have read that article 3 times in Wood Magazine. I really want to make this but have no where to put this in Blondies House ( lol ) Notice I said her house :>)

You did a great job on this and I might have to make one for a gift for someone.
Thx for sharing.

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

View SouthpawCA's profile


277 posts in 4283 days

#8 posted 08-19-2011 05:43 PM

JGM0658 – The legs are tapered that way because that’s what the plans called for. Initially, I thought it was strange too as the other tables I’ve made the insides of the legs were tapered. I kinda like the look.

ken90712 – This design doesn’t fit at all in our house either which is mostly mission (note the oak and black walnut base moulding). I followed the plan as written, however, the next one will be slightly different to more fit our interior. Or, I’ll build new furniture to fit this!

Something I forgot to mention – that chamfer detail on the top of the legs is best done BEFORE tapering the legs. I have no idea why they used a bandsaw for most of this project. It would have been the last tool I would have thought of using. Of course, doing most everything with a hand plane sounds like way too much work too!

-- Don

View thejaz's profile


40 posts in 3533 days

#9 posted 08-19-2011 08:35 PM

I love it—The ‘tension’ of the piece, keeps my attention! ;-)

-- Tom Snyder - theJaz

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 3604 days

#10 posted 08-20-2011 01:18 AM

I love “floating top” designs and this one is spectacular!!!! I really like the triagular legs!!! Great job!!!!!!

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

26051 posts in 4155 days

#11 posted 08-20-2011 05:03 AM

Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing. I have been meaning to make one but I wanted to see one first—Thanks so much for posting

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View DamnYankee's profile


3320 posts in 3612 days

#12 posted 08-20-2011 06:06 AM

Nicely done. I have that issue set aside for ust this project. Now all I need is someone to want/or need one.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View flaggfreak's profile


4 posts in 3524 days

#13 posted 08-20-2011 06:27 AM

Really nice table I am also planning on making this table. I also like your base boards nice touch with the walnut

-- It's your lucky day!!

View baron's profile


10 posts in 3613 days

#14 posted 10-30-2011 08:05 PM

was looking for plans and read your blog. Went to my stash of Wood Magazines and there it was. Thanks

-- Baron von App Wood Working

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5102 days

#15 posted 10-30-2011 11:37 PM


Why not post the Issue#, Date, etc. ... to make it easier on the rest of us? :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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