Sofa Table

The result of challenging ones skills.

SHOP OWNER: Mike Pollack
LOCATION: Livingston, NJ

    I’m just a part-time, amateur woodworker but when my wife wanted a table to go behind our curved sectional sofa, I took on the challenge. I designed and built this 33” high table using curly maple for the top and bottom shelf and cherry for the borders, aprons, and triangular legs. Just to carry the theme, there’s also a strip of curly maple on the aprons. Since it’s bound to get some heavy use and you can’t always count on guests using their coasters, I used semi-gloss polyurethane to finish it.
Sofa Table

    Almost everything I did for this project was new and different for me. I had made some oak furniture (a computer desk, bookcases and such) and some MDF bookcases and TV stands, but I had never attempted a piece of “fine” furniture using specialty woods and my own design.
    I was influenced somewhat in the design of the table and the materials by David Marks’ show, Woodworks. However, I wanted to go a step further and carry the triangular theme to the legs of the table. The most challenging parts of the construction were ripping the triangular legs from 1-¾” stock and carefully laying out the order of construction. For example, the mortises in the legs and aprons had to be cut before ripping the legs and mitering the aprons, since it would be much easier to make 90-degree mortises than to try to make 45-degree cuts with my limited amateur workshop. I used the beadLOCK loose tenon joinery system (making my own cherry tenons) for the first time and can highly recommend the product. Another example was gluing up the cherry aprons and the maple accent strips before cutting the aprons to length.
Sofa Table

    The other big challenge was working with the knowledge that I couldn’t make any major mistakes. I could not find any specialty wood providers in my area and had to order the curly maple and cherry online. Knowing that I couldn’t run up to the local home center or lumber yard to replace the stock really put the pressure on to be extra careful in every measurement and cut that I made. I had to be especially careful with the curly maple, since I had read that it has a tendency towards chip-outs. I made sure to secure a piece of scrap to each cut end to prevent this.

. . . Mike Pollack



This is the place to share views of your shop, woodworking tips and methods,
mug shots, special tools or machines, finished work--you name it!
    We prefer digital images via e-mail, but prints or transparencies will do. Include your name, address, phone number and a paragraph or two explaining the photo(s). Not every entry will be used, we reserve the right to edit for length and clarity, and we will not return photos.

P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081