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Thread: Sideboard / sofa table - First table project, looking for feedback

  1. #16
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    Some observations; feelingsÖ.. If the top is made a little larger the edge can stay vertical but a true taper under the top will give the top a light look but keep it strong to resist sagging.

    The bottom shelf raised up does look better. The leg taper should go from the bottom of the shelf to the floor, far more elegant to the eye.

    Extravagant perhaps but if the bottom shelf is one piece of wood the consistent grain looks far better at the front. The added weight adds stability.

    As for the drawers: the lack of bottom frame gives it a modern look but means the piece looses the classic shaker appeal. Iíve seen both and prefer the simpler drawer slider construction of the more traditional drawers.

    Either way such a piece of furniture is excellent value in useful furniture for minimal wood.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Some observations; feelings….. If the top is made a little larger the edge can stay vertical but a true taper under the top will give the top a light look but keep it strong to resist sagging.

    The bottom shelf raised up does look better. The leg taper should go from the bottom of the shelf to the floor, far more elegant to the eye.

    Extravagant perhaps but if the bottom shelf is one piece of wood the consistent grain looks far better at the front. The added weight adds stability.

    As for the drawers: the lack of bottom frame gives it a modern look but means the piece looses the classic shaker appeal. I’ve seen both and prefer the simpler drawer slider construction of the more traditional drawers.

    Either way such a piece of furniture is excellent value in useful furniture for minimal wood.
    Thank you for the feedback! It's a little tough to see, but the top does have a slight undercutting taper to it around the perimeter. I believe it's approximately 25į or so, with the bevel starting about 1/4" below the top surface.

    I still need to check, but I'm hoping I can build this table without buying more material beyond a few fasteners. I have a bunch of cutoffs from a friend that does carpentry and trim that I plan to use for the drawer box, so that will help reduce the need for walnut in the design.

  3. #18
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    Yes the edge taper is visible. A larger top gives a more gradual taper that can not be seen. The vertical edge adds to the effect of lightening the top so it looks elegant. This enables the top to be thicker and stronger without looking Ďclumpyí.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Yes the edge taper is visible. A larger top gives a more gradual taper that can not be seen. The vertical edge adds to the effect of lightening the top so it looks elegant. This enables the top to be thicker and stronger without looking ‘clumpy’.
    I'm not sure I'm visualizing what you're recommending. Any chance you have a link or photo of an example? I'd love to see it.

  5. #20
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    Not sure if this is what William had in mind, but when I suggested an under-bevel, I was thinking of something like this. When you're standing up, looking at the table top, it looks like it's light - maybe 1/2" or 5/8" or whatever, while it's actually thicker/heavier. The shallow under-bevel hides the actual thickness of the top.

    Tabletop underbevel.jpg

  6. #21
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    Here are two examples, you canít really see the taper under the edge but itís there. The edge is about 2/3 of the full depth. The overhang is 2.5Ē on the small table and 3Ē on the large table.

    A6526FE7-0146-4683-966B-04E344420161.jpg

    23564F21-0B11-4C9F-977C-E914F8766A52.jpg
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  7. #22
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    Correct Gary, with the bevel shallow.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  8. #23
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    Not sure if itís been mentioned yet, but for connecting the top, figure 8s, Z clips, and traditional wooden buttons all work. Iíve used the latter two most.

    Thereís plenty of info out there on how to install (or make, if using wooden buttons). Just need to pay some attention to the humidity conditions when the top is attached. In the winter, I allow a little more space between the end of the connector and the bottom of the mortise/slot (assuming the table will be at itís smallest in the winter) and will expand some. Opposite is true when installing the top in the summer humidityÖI install the connectors a little tighter to the bottom of the mortise/slot assuming the table will shrink some. This applies to the long grain connection.

    For the side grain, make the connector slot wider than the connector itself, so it has some room to move side to side.

    Itís a bit different for figure 8s, on the long grain, you want to install them just a tad offset, so they can move in and out. Side grain, I just install them straight out to allow movement side to side.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #24
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    I like the idea of making your own pulls. But if not, brass looks better with walnut than polished nickel, IMO. The first sofa table I made, I tinkered with the dimensions (from the plan I was working with) and that messed up the proportions so that it looked a bit off to me. I also found the hardest part was getting those flush drawers to fit with minimal (almost invisible) gaps. It took a lot of measuring and tinkering to get it to (almost) work. That meant being very careful at setting up those cross pieces.
    Hobbyist

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Ragatz View Post
    Not sure if this is what William had in mind, but when I suggested an under-bevel, I was thinking of something like this. When you're standing up, looking at the table top, it looks like it's light - maybe 1/2" or 5/8" or whatever, while it's actually thicker/heavier. The shallow under-bevel hides the actual thickness of the top.

    Tabletop underbevel.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Correct Gary, with the bevel shallow.
    Those examples definitely help! Thanks! My bevel was angled more-steeply. Rather than the majority of the bevel being underneath the top, mine has the majority of the bevel on the outer visible edge face of the board. Maybe I'll model up both and see which I prefer... I like the look it has now, but it's probably not very common to do it the way I've designed it.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    Not sure if itís been mentioned yet, but for connecting the top, figure 8s, Z clips, and traditional wooden buttons all work. Iíve used the latter two most.

    Thereís plenty of info out there on how to install (or make, if using wooden buttons). Just need to pay some attention to the humidity conditions when the top is attached. In the winter, I allow a little more space between the end of the connector and the bottom of the mortise/slot (assuming the table will be at itís smallest in the winter) and will expand some. Opposite is true when installing the top in the summer humidityÖI install the connectors a little tighter to the bottom of the mortise/slot assuming the table will shrink some. This applies to the long grain connection.

    For the side grain, make the connector slot wider than the connector itself, so it has some room to move side to side.

    Itís a bit different for figure 8s, on the long grain, you want to install them just a tad offset, so they can move in and out. Side grain, I just install them straight out to allow movement side to side.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks, Phil! I'll search out some examples on installing each type. Being my first table, I'm learning a lot about how they're constructed and how tops get attached to allow for movement. Thanks for providing some suggestions on how I can accomplish this. I had assumed figure 8's were the default, go-to solution. It's nice to know there are different options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    I like the idea of making your own pulls. But if not, brass looks better with walnut than polished nickel, IMO. The first sofa table I made, I tinkered with the dimensions (from the plan I was working with) and that messed up the proportions so that it looked a bit off to me. I also found the hardest part was getting those flush drawers to fit with minimal (almost invisible) gaps. It took a lot of measuring and tinkering to get it to (almost) work. That meant being very careful at setting up those cross pieces.
    Thanks, Stan! I tend to like silver over gold. For wedding bands, we went white gold over traditional yellow gold. I figured we'd stick with nickel or brushed stainless for the pulls. But I can take a clear-coated scrap to the store and compare brass vs nickel and see which one I like better. I do like that metal pulls provide a little pop of contrast and color over just more walnut that might blend in. I could also consider making pulls out of a contrasting wood, if the Mrs. wants to try that route.

    The drawer gaps are the thing that feels most-intimidating to me. I've made some drawers, but they were just for the shop and gaps weren't really critical. So, I'm a little nervous that the gaps will be uneven. But, we'll see how it goes. You can't learn if you don't give it a try, right?

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