Author Topic: Coffee table  (Read 2168 times)

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Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 229
    • In The Woodshop
Coffee table
« on: September 09, 2018, 12:35 PM »
It's been a long time since I made a coffee table. This one is for my son, who recently moved to Sydney. New city, new job. He has found a great apartment, and has begun to request furniture, first a coffee table to replace an Ikea piece his girlfriend purchased. I think that he is playing with fire! No, she's great :)

It's a long weekend in a fortnight, and Lynndy and I plan to visit. (We have family in Sydney, and old friends from when we lived there 30 years ago). My idea was to build a coffee table and take it on the plane as a sort of surprise (he knows I am building it, but will not expect it this way). Fun, eh? :)

So, I needed a knock-down design. And a design along the lines of Danish Modern, which would fit in nicely in his home.

I was taken with a piece by a Japanese maker, Ishitani. He has some great builds on YouTube which are worth looking up. Inspiration came from this design of his ...



The top lifts off ...



... and the legs come apart ...



The coffee table required two weekends to complete. That's a nice change from the pieces I've been building. The wood is Hard Maple. I've grown to like this stuff.

I made a few changes to the design. Firstly, it is a little slimmer and larger (I think): 38" long x 28" wide and 16 1/2" high. Plus a few modifications.

Here's the table ...



To take this shot I had to crawl on the carpet. Much of the underside is unlikely to be seen, even at a distance.



Here's what it looks like underneath. Where Ishitani left his rails straight, I've added a curve (you know me and curves) ..



The legs come off for packing flat ...



Join at the centre ...



Ishitani connected breadboard ends with a dovetailed spline. I have used a true drawbored breadboard construction. The weather in Sydney changes from dry cold in Winter to high humidity in summer. I did not think that a dovetail would cope with this.



Gotta show a tool - these were made with a Veritas Jack Rabbet (to balance the recent post of a power router for the mortices) ...





Another change is the legs are connected with hex bolts. I really could not envisage the coffee table living a life with a loose top ..





This was a very straightforward build. The only slight challenge was the legs - turning them precisely, and then morticing for the rails.

The mortices were first cut in the blanks ..



.. and then turned ..



That's Peter Galpert's caliper on the lathe bed. I really recommend it for sizing spindles.

The tenons were fitted into the mortice ...



... and marked out:



.. before being rebated (is that the correct term here?) for the shoulder ...



And that was it. Finish was a coat of Livos Universal Wood Oil to add a little amber to the very light maple. Then 5 coats of General Finishes water based poly was rubbed on for durability. This adds a little shine. Looks great.

Can't wait to see Jamie's face! :)

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Offline duc996

  • Posts: 164
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 01:46 PM »
Hi Derek, at first look I thought I was looking at Ishitani’s build! Great work!

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5290
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Re: Coffee table
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 01:55 PM »
Very nice work. Well thought out. I really like the X bracing very creative

Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 151
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Re: Coffee table
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 02:30 PM »
Nice!  Thanks for all the Work In Progress shots!
Semper Fi,
Jeff

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Offline Green Mojo

  • Posts: 50
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 05:09 PM »
Very nice - thanks for sharing.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2036
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 05:22 PM »
beautiful, clean, simple, and functional work.

Offline Wooden Skye

  • Posts: 1143
  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2018, 06:22 PM »
Derek, really great job on the table!
Bryan

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Offline PreferrablyWood

  • Posts: 900
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 04:45 PM »
Elegant table,nice choice of wood. Thanks for sharing the work process.
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Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 08:03 PM »
Thanks for sharing this. I'm in Sydney too if you want to bring one over.  [big grin]

Thanks for sharing one of your simpler projects - when I've seen your other "way beyond my abilities" long-term projects (like the recent drawers) and yet you still do simple functional furniture that way outclasses and outlasts the cheap alternatives it is really wonderful to see. It's got me thinking of what I might do with some solid wood I am in the process of acquiring.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 09:15 PM »
Somehow I missed this post from a few weeks back...

I've watched Ishitani's videos.  You did a great job on the table. 

What's the top thickness?  It looks thin so I was surprised to see the T-nuts inserted.

Thanks for sharing, Derek!


Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 229
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2018, 11:05 AM »
Hi Neil

From memory (as the coffee table is living in Sydney now) the top is about 25mm thick.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 805
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2018, 03:57 PM »
Somehow I missed this one the first time around as well.  Nicely done.

A question about the top.  Given the humidity changes that you described in Sidney, how will the legs and cross-supports move when the top expands and contracts?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1288
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2018, 05:29 PM »
Beautiful!  This is probably a novice question (an it comes from someone who has never worked with a lathe), but how did you avoid tear out around that mortise for the aprons when you turned them?  It would have been hidden anyway, but the pics suggests there was very little tearout anyway).

I watched several videos from Ishitani...quite fun!
-Raj

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 229
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2018, 08:49 PM »
Hi Raj

You are correct to identify that the mortice is vulnerable to tearout (actually "spelching" in this case). My solution was simply to take very light cuts around this section. I'm not much of a turner, so just go slowly.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 229
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Coffee table
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2018, 08:58 PM »
Somehow I missed this one the first time around as well.  Nicely done.

A question about the top.  Given the humidity changes that you described in Sidney, how will the legs and cross-supports move when the top expands and contracts?

Hi Harvey

Good question. The legs are limited in their movement - the cross pieces are morticed into the legs and glued, and the legs are trapped in the round mortices.

I expect that there will be a little movement, and this will loosen the bolts eventually. I have instructed my son on this, and that he will need to check and tighten the bolts about once a year.

Regards from Perth

Derek