Andy's A&C Coffee Table

An ambitious project teaches new skills.

SHOP OWNER: Andy Wright

    Since this is only the second major piece of furniture I've built, I learned a lot about woodworking with each step of construction. Actually, this coffee table was first on my list of things to build in my shop. However, I decided building a trundle bed for my daughter out of poplar would be a safer first project. Because the bed was to be painted, I felt it would be more "forgiving" of my mistakes.
Andy's Shop

    I spotted this table in a furniture store and decided to take its measurements. A confused sales person stopped to ask me what I was doing. Luckily, she remembered me from the nice bedroom set I purchased there last year, so she stopped and we chatted while I finished the measurements. It is 38" x 38" x 17".
    I got plenty of practice while making all of the required mortise and tenon joints. The top is one inch thick with breadboard ends. The only real snag that I ran into during construction was gluing up the top.
Andy's Shop

    The first top, which I made from " stock, was badly warped. I think it was a combination of several factors - uneven clamp pressure, the lumber not being fully acclimated to my shop, and the worst sin of all was leaving the top flat on my melamine outfeed table overnight. I tried various techniques to fix it, but in the end, I never really got it as flat as I wanted, so I started over.
Andy's A&C Coffee Table

    This gave me some extra practice in gluing up panels as well as a chance to make the top a full one inch thick (they didn't have any 5/4 quartersawn white oak in stock when I originally bought the lumber). Once I got the top glued up and set in place, I realized it looked somewhat clunky. To resolve this, I added a " chamfer to the bottom edge. This maintains the thickness, but reveals a " edge, which makes the table appear more graceful.
    The finish consists of two initial coats of Watco Cherry Danish Oil. Next, I applied Watco Wipe-On Polyurethane as a protective coating. There are three coats on the legs and six on the top.

. . . Andy Wright



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P.O. Box 493
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