Saturday, January 31, 2015

Working on a Coffee Table

I've been working on a new coffee table. The base is some beech left over from the bench build, I'm not sure of the top but I expect it will be either Walnut or Cherry.

The mortises are chopped, the stretchers are cut to size and tenons sawed. I've fitted one stretcher to the legs, only three more to go. I'm not sure how I will shape the legs but I'm thinking mostly rounding with a curve from the inside to the outside. As of now I expect the top will be semi-floating.

Can you tell I've only a vague concept in mind and designing on the fly. The two goals of the build are bullet proof strong but light in weight and to the eye.

Here's a photo of one of the fitted tenons just because:

The new English style apron is nice. I wish I had added one a long time ago. 

Each bench build over the years has come closer to being the "perfect" bench. This one with the added apron is the best yet. The asymmetrical split top slab is close to optimum size for both the working area and the off area.  Not having a tail, wagon, or twin screw vise frees up the end of the bench and has never been missed. I'm not sure why so many folks bad mouth English metal QR vises. I find they work as well or better than any other vise for most operations and with fewer downsides than other types of vises.  Maybe I'm not as fussy as some. Anyway, the addition of the apron and eliminating the need for a bench jack or deadman has made this bench as close to perfect for me as I expect a bench can be.


  1. That is a very clean and tight looking tenon - especially the shoulders.
    Any problems getting access to the bottom of the bench with the new apron?

  2. Ralph,

    Thanks, I've one tenon more to finish fitting and then it's on to shaping the legs. I've a couple pieces of scrap close to the leg size I'll play with tomorrow and see if I can find a shape that I like.

    I picked up 30 BF of 6/4 Walnut to make the top today, it was the last day on sale for 25% off....sure would hate to pay full price :-).

    Not problems yet, can't see as well with out leaning down but I tend to keep everything it its place. hammers and mallets on the left, secondary planes and the LN #52 on the right, and bench appliances on the back side. It's working so far.