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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning

As I outlined in a post last week, a friend of mine requested a triangular table to fit a niche in her sectional sofa. It's mostly going to be hidden in a corner, so we decided it didn't really require any fancy joinery. She suggested that I could just make a tabletop and throw (gasp) hairpin legs on it. That being the case, I decided I would keep things fairly simple.

The plan is to have the main tabletop made out of 3/4 rift-sawn white oak ply with 1/2" wide solid cherry edges that will be mitered, splined, and then radiused. Finished dimensions of the table are very specific, but luckily, it's a "regular right triangle," meaning it's a right triangle with both "short legs" being equal in length, so math is pretty easy: two short sides (a & b) at 20.5", one long side© at 29".

Triangle Slope Parallel Symmetry Pattern


The two short sides will be in a corner, against the wall, with the long side against the couch. I think it will look best with the grain running out from the corner of the room toward the couch. Once I account for the 1/2" of trim on the finish, the dimensions of my plywood should be 28"x19-13/16".



Cut #1 will be to rip the sheet down to 28", and cut #2 will bring that piece down to a 28"x14" rectangle.

After that, cut #3 will be a 45-deg cross-cut to create one short side, like this:



I'll then rotate that side to be against the miter gauge (now at 90-deg) to produce the final short side, like this:


After getting several great responses to my initial post, I've decided that I'm going to connect the trim with 45-deg miters only-having the two short side trim pieces "dead end" into the trim piece on the long side, like this:



Once the corners are radiused, it should still end up being a pretty clean look:



Of course, I may end up changing my mind about one step or the other along the way. I'm planning to do some "dummy" trim pieces to make sure I nail the lengths before cutting my precious cherry "for real."
 

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Planning

As I outlined in a post last week, a friend of mine requested a triangular table to fit a niche in her sectional sofa. It's mostly going to be hidden in a corner, so we decided it didn't really require any fancy joinery. She suggested that I could just make a tabletop and throw (gasp) hairpin legs on it. That being the case, I decided I would keep things fairly simple.

The plan is to have the main tabletop made out of 3/4 rift-sawn white oak ply with 1/2" wide solid cherry edges that will be mitered, splined, and then radiused. Finished dimensions of the table are very specific, but luckily, it's a "regular right triangle," meaning it's a right triangle with both "short legs" being equal in length, so math is pretty easy: two short sides (a & b) at 20.5", one long side© at 29".

Triangle Slope Parallel Symmetry Pattern


The two short sides will be in a corner, against the wall, with the long side against the couch. I think it will look best with the grain running out from the corner of the room toward the couch. Once I account for the 1/2" of trim on the finish, the dimensions of my plywood should be 28"x19-13/16".



Cut #1 will be to rip the sheet down to 28", and cut #2 will bring that piece down to a 28"x14" rectangle.

After that, cut #3 will be a 45-deg cross-cut to create one short side, like this:



I'll then rotate that side to be against the miter gauge (now at 90-deg) to produce the final short side, like this:


After getting several great responses to my initial post, I've decided that I'm going to connect the trim with 45-deg miters only-having the two short side trim pieces "dead end" into the trim piece on the long side, like this:



Once the corners are radiused, it should still end up being a pretty clean look:



Of course, I may end up changing my mind about one step or the other along the way. I'm planning to do some "dummy" trim pieces to make sure I nail the lengths before cutting my precious cherry "for real."
Looks like that process gets you to the desired grain / shape. Try it first on MDO / MDF

I like the corners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just About Finished

I was able to get this all knocked out between last weekend and the ensuing evenings of the past week.

Overall, I'm very happy with how it came out. More importantly, I learned quite a bit in the process:
  • Miters on large workpieces are tough. Even with a quality miter gauge with an oversized fence with a good infeed table, I'm certain I wasn't able to keep it dead steady on one of the longer cuts. I found this out when I went to "dry fit" the trim pieces and found that, even though the two "short sides" were clearly the exact same length and angles, somehow, one of them was "too long" meaning that the "long side" angle was slightly off. Subsequent measurements indicated it was off by half a degree. While this wasn't the end of the world, it did require an adjustment, and created a tiny gap where one of the short side pieces mated up to the main board.

  • Triangles are hard. I knew this already, but reinforcement is good. I was working off the dimensions I was told by my "client" (friend), and these actually didn't perfectly jive with the rules of Euclidean geometry. The end result was that the long side of the table ended up being slightly shorter (about an inch) than the target. I knew (after inspecting the location where the table will live) that there was plenty of wiggle room built in, so I didn't sweat it.

  • Planning is really important for me. I spent a couple weeks sketching all of this out, asking questions here (thank you to all who advised!), watching dozens of YouTube videos, making sure that my equipment was tuned up right, making jigs, and doing test cuts/assembly before I made a single cut on the final materials. The whole project took about six weeks of weekends and several mid-week evening hours over that span until completion. This feels a little crazy, but I find that it is necessary for me to be comfortable during the actual build. It makes everything so much less stressful when I'm actually working with precious materials and putting it all together.
Here are a few images from the past several days:

I glued the long side on first, and then "test fit" the two short sides prior to gluing up.
Table Wood Wood stain Floor Flooring


I left all of the trim pieces a little more than 1/16 proud, and then planed them down to flush (or very close to it). I'm quite out of practice on my hand planing, so I wisely started on the bottom. The accidental gouge I made there will only be seen by cats. :giggle: You can see where I just grazed the main board on one pass on the top. Luckily, it sanded out clean. 😅
Table Wood Rectangle Floor Flooring


Since I was working with "non-standard" angles, I ended up getting a custom 60-degree corner-radius template made by 3DbyEthan on Etsy. I highly recommend hitting him up if you're even in need. He does quick work, and the quality is excellent. (Sorry you can't really see the template in this picture, but you get the idea).
Wood Hardwood Creative arts Gas Electric blue


Here we are after sanding and the first coat of Osmo Polyx (which I'm soooo happy I recently discovered--it's just so easy to use, and the results are fantastic).
Table Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood


I few close-ups of corner and spline:
Wood Hardwood Varnish Rectangle Wood stain

Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain Beige


I just threw a third coat of Polyx on it this morning, so all that's left is to add the legs and a little wax, and we're done!
 
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