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Thread: Another coffee table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    Another coffee table

    My nephew is getting married in February, and I offered to make a piece of furniture as a gift. The offer was open-ended, and the couple decided they wanted a coffee table. Their taste runs to mid century Danish, and so I sent them a bunch of example from the Internet to get the ball rolling. They fell in love with the following design, and want it in a medium dark wood (it is going to be solid wood, so possibly Jarrah) ...





    My question is how would you build the table ends ...





    Here is similar end ...





    I would like to make the end pieces wider so that they can create a breadboard join at each side.


    Your thoughts?


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,034

    Another coffee table

    My nephew is getting married in February, and I offered to make a piece of furniture as a gift. The offer was open-ended, and the couple decided they wanted a coffee table. Their taste runs to mid century Danish, and so I sent them a bunch of example from the Internet to get the ball rolling. They fell in love with the following design, and want it in a medium dark wood (it is going to be solid wood, so possibly Jarrah) ...





    My question is how would you build the table ends ...





    Here is similar end ...





    I would like to make the end pieces wider so that they can create a breadboard join at each side.


    Your thoughts?


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    My first reaction is to use hidden splines.

    spline hidden.JPG
    Depending on the stock's scale, a tight row of Dominoes would also work but, could be more fussy.

    Domino Row.JPG
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-04-2018 at 8:26 AM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  4. #4
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    Dec 2016
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    I’ve seen joints just like that from the 1920’s that had failed, they used dowels into a solid corner piece. They had lasted a very long time so I’m not saying it was a bad idea!
    The inside curve is the hardest part, running it slightly angled over a table saw will achieve that followed by sanding.
    A crazy person would steam bend strips and laminate them.

    Now we have buiscuits and dominos. Buiscuits give the greatest registration area, the new dowel!

    If you use buiscuits glued both sides in the middle and glued one side near the edges you have your breadboard!
    Last edited by William Fretwell; 11-04-2018 at 9:44 AM. Reason: New thought!

  5. #5
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    If I were making it, I'd saw thin veneers for the ends, make a form to clamp them into, and glue them up to end up with solid U-shaped sections for each end. Then you could glue & spline solid wood strips on the edges to hide the veneer slices.
    I agree with your breadboard end assessment to allow movement across the width of the case, especially since it will be solid wood.
    Please post some pics when you decide how you'll build it!
    ---Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny---

  6. #6
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    May 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    A crazy person would steam bend strips and laminate them.
    I was typing while you posted, and had a good chuckle when I saw this. I don't have a steam bending setup, but I did suggest laminating strips. This confirms my wife's diagnosis I suppose...
    ---Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny---

  7. #7
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    To get parallel inside and outside curves and using solid wood, the only option I can see is to breadboard/M&T/spline in a larger block of wood. Use a bowl/tray router bit for the inside curve and hand plane/half round router bit for the outside.

    If looking for continuous grain, I suppose you could make the whole thing out of thick timber with mitered corners, rout the inside and outside curves and then plane the thickness down to match the radius thickness. ?????

    Looks like a fun challenge. Please let us follow along.

  8. #8
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    I too was laughing!

  9. #9
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    I think that table should be made with veneer over substrate, making it in solid wood leaves four corners either proud off or shy of the table edges.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  10. #10
    Here's an option that does not have the inside curve.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BpfgiZWgEZI/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

    Mike

  11. #11
    I think you'd be better off with L tenons rather than either biscuits or dominos if you are mitering the corners.

    Mike

  12. #12
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    I am not planning on mitering the corners. There are a couple of ways to create rounded corners without a mitre.

    Looking at the photo, although not particularly clear, it looks like a plywood construction, and that the corners were created by steam bending over a form. Obviously, I am not planning to do that. Also, I do not plan to laminate a curve as this will not match solid pieces elsewhere.

    One way is to use a solid corner and shape the inside and outside into a curve. Care needs to be taken with the grain direction. Something like this ...



    Other ideas? Hopefully better than mine

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike King View Post
    I think you'd be better off with L tenons rather than either biscuits or dominos if you are mitering the corners.

    Mike
    I don't see how L tenons could be used in that construct. Am I missing something? Oh, wait. I guess if a seam on the rounded face was OK you could do that but, the scale would be challenging.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-04-2018 at 11:02 AM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  14. #14
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    Dec 2016
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    South West Ontario
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    Sounds like a shaped solid corner and spline mitre middle glued and floating ends with retaining dowels is coming up. The retaining dowels can have a groove in the spline and be installed from underneath so they are never visible.

    As an aside, I am rather jealous of the exotic woods you get down under! In Canada we pay dearly for such splendor.
    Cherry and walnut are our jewels in the crown and we pay for those too!
    Last edited by William Fretwell; 11-04-2018 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Add comment
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  15. #15
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    If the top and sides are made from veneer, the machining of the corner piece needs to be very precise; you can't just sand out any inaccuracy. If, as you say, you make the top and sides with solid lumber, you have more wiggle room with the corner piece. You can make the outside radius with a roundover bit in a router, but you're limited to 1 1/2" radius. Or you can make the outside radius larger by removing some of the waste with a table saw, and then using a hand plane to clean up. That handplane step seems difficult, but actually isn't bad. You draw the curve on both ends of the stock, and cut down to it with the plane. Then you take off the faceting with a sander. This is where it helps that the top and sides are solid lumber. You're not in any danger of going through the veneer with a sander.

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