Cherry Coffee and End Tables

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Project by Paul posted 01-26-2013 11:52 PM 2862 views 10 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Completed this coffee and end table out of Cherry. It was actually a challenge, as the wood I had to work with was warped pretty bad. It had a twist in every board. I was able to salvage some pieces and work them down the best I could. Also, the longer boards, I was able to clamp and glue them straighter. The mortise and tenons that I used were thicker than normal. I figured the stress from the twist, I would need a bit stronger tenon. So, they were 3/8” thick. I ended up having to scrap over half of the wood I bought.

My wife wanted to have a glass tile / backsplash type top on it. So we found something she liked at the home depot and that became the main top. We had wandered through a few furniture stores for ideas on overall designs, and this was the design she wanted.

I got the idea for the legs out of magazine. Each leg is made up of three pieces, and then chamfered on the corners. The idea is that the glued edge would be on the edge of the chamfer, so it would look like a thicker piece of wood. I really liked that approach, and I think the legs turned out great actually.

For the frame underneath the tops, I just used a cross joice type approach. I figured with peoples feet up on the table, it would need strength underneath. Also, in the miters, I put splines in them for added strenth.

I ended up using a tinted danish oil for the finish, with a few coats of wipe on polyurethane on.

-- Paul, Iowa

12 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4497 days

#1 posted 01-27-2013 01:05 AM

very nice work and the the cherry should age beautifully

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4410 days

#2 posted 01-27-2013 01:11 AM

I like it. Looks like it came out very nicely. I agree with Dan – the cherry will age nicely.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4091 days

#3 posted 01-27-2013 03:53 AM

Great looking tables.

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3848 days

#4 posted 01-27-2013 11:47 AM

Beautiful tables and really well constructed. I like your idea on the legs and the tiles look on the top.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Albe's profile


227 posts in 2525 days

#5 posted 01-27-2013 02:08 PM

Thanks for the pictures the end tables are great looking

-- Be yourself everyone else is already taken.

View katiegrace's profile


1 post in 2460 days

#6 posted 01-27-2013 03:40 PM

I love these pieces and would like to build them. Do you have plans that I could have?

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 4002 days

#7 posted 01-27-2013 03:47 PM

The attention to detail shows on these! Looks like I’ll have to get busy sorting through my lumber and tile stock pile now.

-- James

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3381 days

#8 posted 01-27-2013 03:49 PM

Now these are so nice. Beautiful work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Paul's profile


44 posts in 2799 days

#9 posted 01-27-2013 04:03 PM

I don’t really have plans. For this project I looked into furniture stores for design ideas, and then looked at some similar projects that I could find in magazines, internet, etc. I ended up just off of that and created a custom plan. The leg plans came out of an old woodsmith magazine. I really liked that idea to “hide” glue joints when all you have is 3/4” material. The frame, tile, joice system, etc. all were done custom in the shop.

For the tile/backsplash, I used the tile pieces from home depot and then adhered them with tile adhesive to 1/2” plywood. The plywood pieces however, I left long about 3/8” around the tile. This let me rabbit the frame pieces to lay over the top for a nice fit. The joice system was done using interlocking dado joints to scrap wood I had in the shop. I then just used screws to hold it in place inside the tables.

One of the ways I used to get some of the warp out was to screw as many areas underneath the table as possible. So, about every 6 inches (overkill I know) I put a screw in there. The joices were 1 1/2” inches thick, so I used 2” #6 screws. That gave me a 1/2” of material for the screws to grab to throughout the frame and tile to hold in place and take any warp out. It also made it extremely sturdy and solid.

The rails were all out of 2” wide pieces. The legs ended up being 1 1/2” wide. The coffee table height is 18” and the end table height is 22”. The frame width of the end table is 20” wide. The dimensions of the coffee table are roughly 27” x 50”. These dimensions came out due to the 4” frame width. Then the tiles ended up being around 19” square. The table top has about a 3/4” overhang around the edges. If I did it again, I’d probably double that overhang.

All the jointery for the legs, rails, stretchers were done with mortise and tenon. If there wouldn’t have been a warp to the wood, I would have done 1/4” tenons, however I wanted added strength in the joint so I used 3/8”. I also added splines to the mitered frame top. This will add strength over time as well. (It also helped a bit with the warp).

All of the wood was planed down to 3/4” thick. However for the frame I had to plane a little extra off since the tile with adhesive on top of the 1/2” plywood ended up a little less than 3/4”.

Let me know if you need other dimensions or descriptions. I also have additional pictures if you would like to see them as well.

-- Paul, Iowa

View Paul's profile


44 posts in 2799 days

#10 posted 01-27-2013 04:06 PM

Here’s a shot of the pieces so you can see the mortise and tenons.

-- Paul, Iowa

View Paul's profile


44 posts in 2799 days

#11 posted 01-27-2013 04:15 PM

A shot of the tile pieces being glued. Once glued up, I ripped them down to have only 3/8” overhang. I then grouted them as you normally would with tile. Once the whole coffee table was finished and assembled, I then ran a fine bead of sanded caulk around the edge to fill any gap there might have been between the tile and the frame (wasn’t much). Not just from an asthetic perspective I wanted the caulk… I wanted it to seal in case something spilled on the top.

-- Paul, Iowa

View Paul's profile


44 posts in 2799 days

#12 posted 01-27-2013 04:38 PM

Here’s a close up of the legs with the glued edge chamfered. (Later I chamfered each corner. Just a 1/4” chamfer.) I didn’t put a chamfer on the rails.. only sanded the corners down slightly. Also, the frame top, I ran the edges through the table saw with the blade at 22 1/2 degrees. This gave a longer beveled edge.

-- Paul, Iowa

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