Nesting American Puzzle Tables

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Project by Hibernicvs posted 03-20-2008 09:37 PM 1893 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was going to call these “Nesting North American Puzzle Tables,” but the name was already too long. The “puzzle” is in how the top is attached—it can’t be determined by examining the table, because there’s no visible clue. The apron is “plain old pine” that I got second hand, and too old for me to be able to tell what kind, specifically. The legs and border around the tops of the tables is radiate pine from New Zealand—a species native to So. California that’s endangered on its own turf, but successfully ranch grown in New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa, and probably a bunch of other places, too, a lot is imported back to the U.S., it’s original home. It has a tint very close to red oak, which suggested the red oak stain I applied. The center of the table tops is lauan, or Philippine mahogany, which I stained ebony. The plugs covering the screws are tulip wood (poplar), which I also stained ebony. The whole thing is covered with four coats of polyurethane. The tops consist of 1/2” plywood, which I then screwed, THEN laminated the mahogany, I routered a 3/4” lip, 3/8” deep, around the top, where I attached the trim, having first routered an equal-but-opposite 3/4, 3/8” trough on 1×2s. If you duplicate this, be sure to learn from my mistake, and attach all the trim on a single table at one time, using clamps that can fit over other clamps that pass over each other at 90 degrees. The legs are 1×2s glued together with polyurethane glue after first cutting the mortises for the apron tenons. Except for the lauan, which is attached with contact cement, everything is both glued ‘n screwed. The design is basic Arts and Crafts, with a little stealing from Greene and Greene.

-- Hibernicvs

3 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4960 days

#1 posted 03-20-2008 10:59 PM

Those look pretty nice!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4794 days

#2 posted 03-21-2008 01:18 AM

Those are nice looking tables.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Grumpy's profile


26793 posts in 4823 days

#3 posted 03-21-2008 01:33 AM

Nice job on the tables. A lot of furniture makers use ratiata pine down under. Easy to work with, reasonably stable and low cost.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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