Cosine Wave Table

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Project by Dave Hair posted 09-12-2013 04:12 PM 5451 views 28 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My cosine wave table was inspired by the wonderful work done by Nico Jose (see ). He is an artist and I am a copycat, with modifications.

I used the cosine of every 5 degrees from 0 to 60 degrees as the distance from the origin (left or right end of the table) multiplied by the length of the top piece of wood to generate the wave shape. In other words, cosine of zero degrees is 1.0000 so the X-axis shift is 0.0. The cosine of 60° is 0.5000 so when multiplied by the width of the top (20” = 508 mm), gives an X-axis shift of 254 mm (or half way across the top). I worked in millimeters, finding it easier to to calculate in a spreadsheet than inches and fractions.

Angle COS mm from front edge

0 1.0000 0.0
5 0.9962 1.9
10 0.9848 7.7
15 0.9659 17.3
20 0.9397 30.6
25 0.9063 47.6
30 0.8660 68.1
35 0.8192 91.9
40 0.7660 118.8
45 0.7071 148.8
50 0.6428 181.5
55 0.5736 216.6
60 0.5000 254.0

Simply by flipping a second build of triangles one can complete the sequence to the back of the table. This particular table took four triangle sets to complete.

The woods that I selected are mostly the ‘common’ exotics like paduak, holly, sapele, purpleheart, canary wood, wenge, bloodwood, hickory, wormy walnut, ambrosia maple, mahogany, leopardwood and red palm (marvelous, splintery stuff).

I really liked Nico’s gaps in the top pieces, so I copied that too.

The pieces are held together with glue and pin nails. I had a great deal of mental difficulty staggering the ends of the tops (see the images) and also getting the angles of each piece correct. The spreadsheet that I used to calculate all of trigonometric requirements never quite matched the workshop reality.

However, without the Kreg miter gauge on the tablesaw, I don’t think I could have built it. That miter gauge was rock solid and right on. And making sure the tablesaw blade was truly vertical was absolutely essential (preaching to the choir here).

So it is sitting in a fairly dark room out of any hope of sunshine to avoid the fading of paduak and purpleheart for as long as possible.

Thanks again to Nico’s creativity.

-- JDHair

30 comments so far

View ChrisK's profile


2043 posts in 3688 days

#1 posted 09-12-2013 05:46 PM

Cool idea, I like the array of colors.

-- Chris K

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 2551 days

#2 posted 09-12-2013 06:50 PM

Very cool. Could we see and end view?

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2795 days

#3 posted 09-12-2013 09:43 PM

Oh Man – That is my favorite cocktail table—- EVER! I wish I hadn’t seen it so soon after completing mine. No matter – I’m inspired by the design. I’m already looking forward.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View gsimon's profile


1313 posts in 2720 days

#4 posted 09-12-2013 09:52 PM

Nice juxtaposition between all the straight lines and the organic colors an curves
Well done!

-- Greg Simon

View CaptWalnut's profile


13 posts in 2532 days

#5 posted 09-13-2013 12:34 AM

Very Good Job, this is exciting to look at.

-- To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women

View hoss12992's profile


4166 posts in 2499 days

#6 posted 09-13-2013 02:04 AM

Wow, this is amazing. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View exit116's profile


140 posts in 2398 days

#7 posted 09-13-2013 02:14 AM

so cool, and never feel bad for borrowing ideas from people you think are smarter than you, that’s how we get as smart as them. Pablo Picasso said “Good artists copy, great artists steal”

-- Money: if you do not have fun earning it, have fun spending it, I do not enjoy spending it so I have fun earning it.

View oldnovice's profile


7517 posts in 3974 days

#8 posted 09-13-2013 04:28 AM

That is outstanding!

Colors, concept, and workmanship are all beautiful!

At first sight it looked massive but the end view proved differently.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 2549 days

#9 posted 09-13-2013 05:29 AM


-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3632 days

#10 posted 09-13-2013 06:31 AM

Looks great!

-- Dreaming patterns

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2431 days

#11 posted 09-13-2013 12:00 PM

A very cool looking table…great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View BENTWOOD's profile


401 posts in 2388 days

#12 posted 09-13-2013 12:57 PM

Very creative and love the color scheme!


View Dave Hair's profile

Dave Hair

10 posts in 2576 days

#13 posted 09-13-2013 01:18 PM

Thanks for your nice comments Lumberjocks!

I missed the error of calling one of the woods ‘redblood’. Of course, it is bloodwood.

-- JDHair

View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3930 days

#14 posted 09-13-2013 01:51 PM

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3449 days

#15 posted 09-13-2013 02:40 PM

Amazing and WOW!
Yep, everyone bout covered that didn’t they.
I don’t know what else to say because amazing is all that come to mind with this one.


showing 1 through 15 of 30 comments

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