Walnut Coffee table

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Project by JusticeBeaver posted 07-18-2012 08:13 PM 1271 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Walnut coffee table approximately 41 inches in diameter and 18 inches tall. Loose tenon joinery. It is spray finished in Hydrocote Resistathane (a water based poly) and the top is polished to gloss with Micro Mesh. My wife pointed to this at Pottery Barn and said “something like that”.

Nearly everything about making this table involved learning something new. First time turning, first time with bent lamination, frist time with angled joinery, first large glue up. Even finishing a large flat surface seemed to trip me up a little.

My shiny new MortisePal would not clamp onto the 3.5 inch leg so against the manufacturers explicit recommendation I employed shims and clamps to make it work. Worked fine! Getting the angle right between the aprons and the legs was a bit more challenging and took a good deal of trial and error with the miter saw.

The legs are clearly not identical but that can’t be determined from their location 2 feet apart and under the table top. I have a fifth leg sitting in the shop with a blown out edge where I was hot dogging it around the ‘skirt’ and ejected a chunk of the spindle into my face shield. Would have been nice to work with a solid leg but a blank that size was expensive and I already had a ton of wood to make a glued up from.

If I were to do it again I would glue up the top in stages, change the shape of the legs to be narrower at the bottom, use a smaller needle in the sprayer to start with, and use more clamps on the bent lamination.

I know its not perfect and I have a lot to learn but friendly and constructive advice is certainly welcome.

-- Lonnie - Peachtree Corners, GA

5 comments so far

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2750 days

#1 posted 07-18-2012 08:23 PM

Looks like you did pretty well. I remember well when I first tried to make 4 identical legs on a lathe. It’s a lot harder than you might think, isn’t it ! I assume you made up a template first. You can also buy some handy profile checkers from guys like Lee Valley.

As a friendly critique, I think the legs are a bit heavy. I would also put a profile on the edge of the top. Still, very good for a first go at it !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View JusticeBeaver's profile


26 posts in 3070 days

#2 posted 07-18-2012 08:41 PM

Thanks for the feedback MC.
on the legs, yeah. In my mind it was sweeping towards the floor like dress. In reality every feature is about the same diameter.
On the profile edge, its the symptom of indecision. I couldn’t find a profile that I really liked so I just smoothed the edges and moved on.

-- Lonnie - Peachtree Corners, GA

View TexasJim's profile


86 posts in 3798 days

#3 posted 07-18-2012 08:43 PM

That is a very nice table (and a lot of walnut). Not my style (I’m hung up on Arts & Crafts) but very well done and if it’s what the wife wanted, you can’t go wrong. Nice work.

-- If the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3667 days

#4 posted 07-18-2012 10:10 PM

Beautiful table. It looks to be right out of a high end furniture store. Nice job!!!
As far as you MortisePal goes. I say modify anything that needs it. Think outside of the box- heck I’m outside the box most of the time!!

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

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3355 days

#5 posted 07-18-2012 11:53 PM

Really nice job. Beautiful. 10-4 on learning new things. Happens to me every day but my cup was prtty empty to start with.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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