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Thread: Yet another coffee table design

  1. #21
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    Thom.

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Hi Jim,

    I am late to this thread but here goes my 3.5-cents...

    The version you post is very nice. I'm glad to see you reduced the 'weight' of the trim as it took away from the overall design of the frame.

    I vote for the insert trim to be walnut but it will look great either way you go. I'm biased towards walnut but the birch doesn't make the top as dark and forms well to the eye with the frame too.

    Finally, keep that straight line before the curves. It adds much more than a constant curve, suggests strength & elegance at the same time.

    Looking forward to seeing the project. And....I'm convinced I must figure out Sketchup once and for all...
    Cheers,
    Thom.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Kerfin, that transition area is screaming for some curly or bird's eye maple. Walnut frames it really well - great contrast.

    Chess.jpg

    Something to consider: a drawer in the apron. Something discrete that can house a few magazines and some remotes (if the table will reside in your TV room)

    When I built this table, I added in a drawer on each side, just to try out a new dovetail jig. I'm glad I did, they are well used.

    table02.jpg
    Last edited by "C"; 07-15-2012 at 09:04 PM.
    Clint in London

  3. #23
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    Jim

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Thanks guys. Great idea on the curly maple or flamed birch! Here's a Sketchup revision with that idea. The legs and aprons are much lighter than they will be, I just don't have a darker birch-like colour to put in there. I have avoided drawers and shelves because in our house they'd just cram up.

    Very nice table, Clint.

    I better start thinking about finishing. I'm still at the two-finish beginner stage: (1) dye (sometimes), stain and polyurethane, or (2) "oil" + Minwax oil based polyurethane. I like polyurethane because it resists damage so well (our 5-coat bar is 7 years old and still looks great), but it does have a plasticky look, and I like the slightly aged look that the oil+poly create as the piece matures. I understand that dangers exist with mixing certain oil products with polyurethane, so obviously I've been merely lucky, since I've had no peeling/scratching problems so far. What would you suggest for this table, knowing it will be in a knock-about family home where fine furniture would not last? Shellac would be pointless. The mixed woods will be a bit of a challenge too: I usually like to treat the walnut with walnut Danish "oil" to preserve the dark colour against UV fade. Whatever I come up with will become my third option for finishing my projects.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by kerfin; 07-16-2012 at 05:55 AM.
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  4. #24

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    I'll add my two cents.

    I prefer the straight section, before the radious, on the apron.

    Look into acrylic grout (available by the pail) or siliconized caulking grout (available by the tube). Siliconized caulking grout has the most flexibility and is what I use for this application. I use Mapei, other companies have it, as well. It's not the nicest stuff to work with but...

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    A super-easy finish to use is circa 1850 oil-varnish mix (The can has a green ball in the top right corner http://www.rona.ca/en/oil---antique-oil ). You just rub it on. More coats = more varnish build up.

    Another option is to buy a HVLP system, and spray a lacquer or varathane. I've used my Earlex 550 http://www.earlex.ca/hv5000.php to spray Varathane Diamond http://www.homedepot.ca/product/diam...in-378l/980313 and ML Campbell Magna Max Lacquer http://www.mlcampbell.com/products/c...lyzed/magnamax, both are hard durable clear finishes.


    C
    Clint in London

  6. #26
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    Jim

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Dry fit, before any finishing and before the curved lower edge in the long apron pieces. Ordered Tried and True Oil Varnish. Found a beautiful birdseye maple plank and planning how to cut and mill it. Thinking about how to attach the tiles in another thread. Getting there.
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    Last edited by kerfin; 07-31-2012 at 06:23 AM.
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    I like Ron's top idea.

    The glued on strip for screwing the top to could be modified at the ends to replace the angle braces and might help in getting all squared up?
    Egon
    from
    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

  8. #28
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    Jim

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Got the base glued up. The workbench really helped get it square. Set it up dry, then glued, then clamped, then released clamps to recheck square then re-clamped. Ended up 1 mm out diagonally.

    I hear Ron's tip for attaching the top, but I think I'm still going to try my approach. Hopefully won't be ruefully shaking my head. With luck it will just be a matter of difference in taste, not wisdom in design. Decided to go without the angled brace pieces in the inside corners. I'm going to add a cross beam half way along to reduce the long span under the plywood base, and that will add some bracing to the frame too. Those m&t joints seem mighty solid. My plan is to screw the plywood top to the four legs at each corner, and screw the walnut frame to the legs as well. This violates wood movement principles, but would be like adding splines to the mitred corners which has a similar effect. Still time for me to pull back from that precipice if it seems ridiculous.
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    Jim
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    Wood, the final frontier

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Got back to working on the table after various interruptions.

    Made the curves on the end aprons using a template, jigsaw and and two routers (big one and small laminate router). Applied the template with 2-sided tape after clamping the base vertically on the floor against the bench, which gave me a very convenient, safe, solid position to hand-router. Decided to make their curves more subtle than on the long front and back aprons. This photo is before sanding and cleaning up the shaping.

    Started cutting the top. My plan is to screw it to the base, then frame it with the birdseye maple and walnut (sorry Rod, I like your idea but I think I'll stick with this plan and hope it works out), apply the Tried and True Varnish, then lay and caulk the tile.

    Always happy to receive criticism and suggestions.
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    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Now that I'm finally getting the hang of Sketchup, the learning curve has been worth it. I can design and build the piece in the virtual world before wrecking wood in the real world. I don't do enough woodworking to blast ahead, and SU gives me a way to think it all through first.

    Legs and apron: I'm happy with the design of the legs and apron now. I like the little 3" straight section at the end of each arch, and the dimensions work for my eye. Wife likes it too. I remain undecided about the corner braces, but leaning towards using them -- the table does indeed get a lot of heavy use
    I like using sketchup, the one problem I've had so far with skectchup is that it does not show how moving parts work. I made a small foldup stand that that didn't work the way I envisioned, luckily I was able to solve the problem fairly easily so did not have to start over. The other negative comment I've heard about sketchup is that it some artistic creativity can be lost in design. I haven't had this problem yet but am interested in the subject.

    Nice looking table.
    Last edited by Al=name; 09-02-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  11. #31
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    Jim

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Quote Originally Posted by Al=name View Post
    I like using sketchup, the one problem I've had so far with skectchup is that it does not show how moving parts work...
    The rotate tool helped me to visualize how to hinge the top of the narrow hallway table I built. Made sure the whole top was a component, then rotated it around the right pivot point, which exposed the need to build out the back a bit to accept the piano hinge properly, and allowed me to measure the mortice needed to sink the hinge.
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Quote Originally Posted by kerfin View Post
    The rotate tool helped me to visualize how to hinge the top of the narrow hallway table I built. Made sure the whole top was a component, then rotated it around the right pivot point, which exposed the need to build out the back a bit to accept the piano hinge properly, and allowed me to measure the mortice needed to sink the hinge.
    Good point. Thanks!
    Al

  13. #33
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    Jim

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Finally got the frame on (birdseye maple and walnut). Just rubbed out the first coat of Tried and True Varnish Oil (already have four coats on the legs and rails). TTVO is really starting to grow on me. Once I get the four coats on the frame I'll install the porcelain tiles and this project will be done. It's not fine woodworking, but it's been fun and the table will be useful in our living room.
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    Jim
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    Wood, the final frontier

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Tiles attached. Just need to apply the Mapei siliconized grout. This is another project full of ideas from folks on this forum. Much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by "C" View Post
    Kerfin, that transition area is screaming for some curly or bird's eye maple. Walnut frames it really well - great contrast.
    This was a brilliant suggestion that took me into a whole new woodworking dimension. Had to figure out how to find and work with Birdseye maple.
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    Last edited by kerfin; 10-13-2012 at 05:19 PM.
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Soo... that's kind of awesome I like it a lot!

    Cheers!

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Wow, it's really looking nice! I like the contrast with the two borders. Adding the inner border was a great idea, and making it out of the maple was another. I don't think I would have chosen that exact tile, but that's a personal preference, and I really like the idea of using tile, because then the table is much more functional for drinks and hot snacks. I'm hoping you'll post a bunch more pictures of the finished product, and could you talk some more about how the tried & true finish has come out for you? I was considering trying that stuff. Thanks!

  17. #37
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    Jim

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Quote Originally Posted by callee View Post
    could you talk some more about how the tried & true finish has come out for you? I was considering trying that stuff. Thanks!
    Ryan, Here's the thread where I got up the learning curve on the TTVO:
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ue-Varnish-Oil
    It really grew on me over time, and I found it quite easy to apply. Thin and elbow grease. Once we put the table into service I'll find out how well it stands up. My fallback is to topcoat with oil-based polyurethane, but my wife likes the TTVO too. I used it on bare wood with no other finish.
    Last edited by kerfin; 10-13-2012 at 09:41 PM.
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    thanks! I'll look at that.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Quote Originally Posted by callee View Post
    I don't think I would have chosen that exact tile, but that's a personal preference
    Ryan, we like this look although my local choice of tiles was very limited and I'm not known for having tastes shared by others. I'm curious to see it through your eyes. What look would you have preferred?
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  20. #40

    Default Re: Yet another coffee table design

    Quote Originally Posted by kerfin View Post
    Ryan, we like this look although my local choice of tiles was very limited and I'm not known for having tastes shared by others. I'm curious to see it through your eyes. What look would you have preferred?
    To my eye a darker tile like your border would have given the contrast to your maple and made it stand out more. It is still a good looking table and each person has their own tastes. Maybe a dark brown grout would make the tiles pop a little and provide some contrast and continuity. FWIW JMHO.

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