Coffee Table

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
This project is one of my more ambitious to date. While the coffee table is not nearly as large as the pedestal table, with the coffee table employed more techniques that were new to me. The wood is quarter sawn white oak, but what is unique is the aprons under the top a bottom portions of the table are built from bent wood laminations. The rational for a table with this particular design is that my wife asked me to build something that would work with our large sectional sofa. We looked at square and rectangular designs, but she wanted something with a gentle curve along the outer edge...so, I decided if we were going with a curve on the outer edge, I may as well try to bend a 90 degree curve on the inner edge. The big challenge with bending wood is that it is really two projects in one - building the actual table plus the building the jigs needed as templates for the curves. The other unique feature for me is that up until this project I never turned anything that I actually used on a project. You will note that the pillars are not elaborate - I purposely made them simple so I could make three that looked similar. All-in-all I am pleased with how it looks so far. I still need to actually connect the pillars to the table's top/bottom and apply filler/stain/finish. I will publish pictures when I actually have these tasks completed and the table is sitting in our living room.

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Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
That is nice, but I am surprised.

For some reason I thought you had built far more involved and complicated furniture.
 
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Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Very cool design, definitely something different! Beautiful wood, is bending quartersawn stock easier/ harder/ same as flatsawn?
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Very cool design, definitely something different! Beautiful wood, is bending quartersawn stock easier/ harder/ same as flatsawn?
Bas, thank you for you kind comments. Regarding your question, while I am no expert, everything that I have read/seen on the topic of bending wood indicates that grain orientation is important. Based on what I experienced, if your project doesn't call for a "major" bend, then I think you could possible get away with bending thinly cut flat sawn wood. On the other hand, if you are making a major bend (mine was 90 degrees), then I think bending with the grain is important. I cut my laminations to about 3/16 on the bandsaw then put those through the drum sander to get a uniform thickness of 1/8".
 
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Jim M.

Woody
Corporate Member
Very nice! I love the design and your choice of wood. The grain is awesome on that oak.
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
Very cool design, definitely something different! Beautiful wood, is bending quartersawn stock easier/ harder/ same as flatsawn?
Bass---------white oak has one of the highest success rates in bending. Whether the growth rings are vertical or horizontal to the bend is not as important in bending as having the grain parallel to the surface of the piece being bent. This opinion is a carry over from building Windsor chairs. Seems to be a common opinion of instructors I have worked with.
 
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KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Treasurer
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Very nice looking piece - unusual shape, but I'm sure it fits its environment well. You seem to be getting the hang of this woodworking thing.

I'm surprised that you ran the wood planks in the short direction versus the long direction. Probably a reason that I'm not seeing like the way that they're supported underneath.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Donn, like your table. You made something you really can't go out and buy without having somebody custom make it. How did you bend your wood? Did you steam it or bend it dry around the forms?

Roy G
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Donn, like your table. You made something you really can't go out and buy without having somebody custom make it. How did you bend your wood? Did you steam it or bend it dry around the forms?

Roy G
Roy, I cut thin strips of material (aprox 3/16") then sanded these in a drum sander to a thickness of 1/8". The next steps were to apply glue to the strips, stacked them (six strips equals 3/4") and while the glue was still wet put the stack in a pre-made template and slowly apply clamping pressure. In order to keep the curves smooth, I found it essential to make the templates with both the curve and its corresponding negative (whatever the radius of the curve, the radius of the negative needs to smaller by the thickness of the material being bent (e.g., if the radius of the curve is 9" and the stack being bent is 3/4", then the radius of the negative needs to be 8.25").
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Interesting piece Donn. What finish will you use?
Dirk, I plan to use the same finishing schedule I used on the Pedestal Table (Adele like it, which is good enough for me). The schedule is: a thinned solution of Timbermate as a grain filler - sand with 220; followed by applying a mixture of Weather Oak (Minwax stain) and Old Masters grain filler. After curing, I will apply 5 or 6 coats fo Minwax Wipe on Poly (satin finish).
 

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