Mahogany Sofa Table

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Project by Todd A. Clippinger posted 03-30-2007 03:32 AM 16186 views 139 times favorited 48 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This sofa table is made of mahogany and ash. I made it for my wife because everything I make goes into someone else’s house. My wife and I get to look at this everyday.

This table is my favorite because it was a breakout piece for me. It was my first piece that exhibited exceptional design and craftsmanship in comparison to the more simple projects that I had done. This was the point in which I truly got hooked on fine furniture. This table was part of the portfolio that gained me juried entrance to the Western Design Conference.

The inspiration for this table is actually Arts & Crafts. The original drawing reflects the Arts & Crafts idea that evolved when I added a curve to one of the legs. I traced the drawing over and added curves to all of the legs and stretchers.

I think some of the design elements of A&C are a little heavy and too blocky. The natural thing to do is to throw in some curves. Sweet sexy curves!

The ash that I used for the slats was actually scrap wood. I happened to find it setting next to the mahogany one day and it struck me that they would go well together. I like ash with the colored streaks in it and in order to show the pattern at it’s best, I realized that slats would work better than spindles. An added benefit was that I also had fewer pieces to deal with.

I made 7 legs to get 4 good ones. In cutting curved legs it always releases tension in an unbalanced manner and they will twist.

The finish is a precat lacquer from Sherwin Williams.

Here is a good lesson for everyone: My wife and I clean our furniture with only a damp rag, we do not use furniture polish. When the top got scratched it was no problem. I used a rag wet with lacquer thinner to wipe the scratch and lightly melt the surface. I used a small brush to apply 2 coats of lacquer to the scar. After achieving the build I did a light sand over the whole top, wiped it again with a rag dampened with thinner, and resprayed it. I would defy anyone to find the scratch. Lacquer is easy to repair if it is not contaminated.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

48 comments so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5540 days

#1 posted 03-30-2007 03:33 AM

I LOVE this one!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5310 days

#2 posted 03-30-2007 03:34 AM

It IS very nice. Thanks for sharing Todd.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5312 days

#3 posted 03-30-2007 03:36 AM

Thanks for the compliment Wayne C, but you’re just a dog, what do you know?

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5310 days

#4 posted 03-30-2007 03:37 AM

Good furnature for one thing when I see it… lol

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5305 days

#5 posted 03-30-2007 03:38 AM

Another beautiful piece Todd. The grain and craftmanship are just outstanding. I am in the middle of doing a piece with curved legs and could have used the “7 legs to get 4 good ones” comment earlier. Glad to see that though, so I know it’s not just me. LOL.

Always a pleasure to see your stuff and learn a little bit more about fine woodworking. Thanks for sharing.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5312 days

#6 posted 03-30-2007 03:41 AM

It may seem like I write a lot of explanation in my text. But I like to make it easy for people to glean the information without writing a tech manual. I hope it helps others further their talent.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5613 days

#7 posted 03-30-2007 03:44 AM

Be careful the Dog lifts his leg around Fire Hydrants, maybe even tables.

Great table Todd. I can see wood bend when you release uneven balance wood. Were the unusable legs dramatically different?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 5309 days

#8 posted 03-30-2007 04:03 AM

Great lesson Todd. Thanks. I think the Ash contrasts nicely with the mahogany.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5312 days

#9 posted 03-30-2007 04:14 AM

There was a substantial amount of movement. One leg actually twisted like someone was wringing water out of it. It was pretty amazing how much it moved. None of the legs moved until the second cut was made.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5486 days

#10 posted 03-30-2007 04:19 AM


As Karson said the Dog lifts his leg around maybe even table legs… Maybe that dog got to your table legs?? and it wasn’t tension that caused them to twist!!!!!

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5527 days

#11 posted 03-30-2007 04:36 AM

You have so great design skills. I’m always happy to see the next project. Keep them coming.

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5306 days

#12 posted 03-30-2007 06:03 AM

As always, a fabulous piece, Todd. I also greatly appreciate the depth of commentary in your posts.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 5310 days

#13 posted 03-30-2007 06:11 AM

Todd, that is absolutely spectacular. I really appreciate the explinations you give. Please don’t stop teaching.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5302 days

#14 posted 03-30-2007 07:10 AM

Beautiful grain! Do you spray the finish?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5373 days

#15 posted 03-30-2007 11:27 AM

and I really appreciate the info re: caring for the finished product.

(very lovely)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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