Elm Coffee Table with Brass Porthole

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Project by Kjuly posted 01-14-2014 03:12 PM 2837 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This table started with an e-mail from Kathy explaining that she wanted a custom coffee table built for her husband, Bill. She had a brass porthole that belonged to Bill’s father and wanted to it included in the table design.We made plans for Kathy to bring the brass porthole to my shop along with some pictures of a few table designs. Much to my surprise, the porthole weighed in at a whooping 49 lbs. I had an Elm plank that was earmarked for a live edge table but Kathy thought it would make a beautiful coffee table.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

10 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3922 days

#1 posted 01-14-2014 03:48 PM

This turned out so nicely. It’s a very nice design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 3886 days

#2 posted 01-14-2014 03:58 PM

Very nice presentation for a family treasure.
Fantastic work Keith!

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Kjuly's profile


311 posts in 4341 days

#3 posted 01-14-2014 05:52 PM

I tried to trace the history of the porthole but didn’t have much luck. No serial number or other identifying marks.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4364 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 07:12 PM

Very nice and beautiful table and a good use of the porthole. That will be a lifelong treasure.

Back in the late 1960’s when I was restoring old boats I acquired 10 brass portholes that were 18” in diameter. All from an old boat that was built in 1927. WOW, I wish I still had those portholes today…! You cannot find the real things anymore …everything is reproductions now
I built a teak cabinet using two of them inserted as access doors.

View Kjuly's profile


311 posts in 4341 days

#5 posted 01-14-2014 07:32 PM

Hello Greg,
I would love to see your Teak cabinet. Any pictures?

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View Northwest29's profile


1709 posts in 3546 days

#6 posted 01-14-2014 08:46 PM

Very nicely done and quite UNIQUE.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Woodbridge's profile


3747 posts in 3473 days

#7 posted 01-15-2014 01:36 AM

great coffee table. Its nice that the porthole is included in what will certainly become a family heirloom.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4203 days

#8 posted 01-15-2014 01:41 AM

I’ve seen portholes in many different places—but never in a coffee table! The elm is beautiful, and I like your tusk tenons!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Woodmaster1's profile


1706 posts in 3642 days

#9 posted 01-15-2014 02:54 AM

Nice idea should one of a kind project.

View Kjuly's profile


311 posts in 4341 days

#10 posted 01-15-2014 12:30 PM

Kathy presented the table idea to me with most of the design features already decided. She had searched the internet and found the brass wedges for the tenon. I don’t think you can tell that they are brass from the picture.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

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