Coffee Table, Small Format

Coffee Table, Small Format in Environment

Coffee Table, Small Format

This project was an exploration of furniture as art…not completely practical, but really enjoyable as a CNC build project.

The dimensions were based on a very simple and elegant piece with minor variations; taking into consideration the limits of the CNC machine and tools available in the shop. The overall dimensions were:

  • 47″L x 19″W x 14-1/2″H

The structural design uses a narrow “double truss” concept for the main support of the table top and these legs/supports then penetrate the tabletop. The leg pieces fit into an “X” shaped base. The pieces that penetrate the tabletop then support a ceramic piece thrown specifically for the design.

The tabletop was constructed of three, 1×8 pine pieces doweled at the edges, clamped, and glued. The trusses and base were constructed of 1/2″ sanded birch plywood. The trusses were two pieces glued and doweled together.

We are still having calibration issues and this showed up in the “key” piece used to shore up the connection between the left/right leg/support pieces. The slots didn’t align and filler had to be used to help finish off these areas. Re-calibration is definitely still on the list.

After the full assembly we realized that the base was a bit too small and somewhat flimsy. A secondary layer was added underneath to try and help the stability…this was only partially successful. Separate pieces were used to do this, but since they were separate, this really didn’t help all that much (and will be executed as an extra, single piece if there are any additional builds). Also, the base will need to be enlarged – most likely – to the full dimensions of the tabletop. This should help the stability issue for future builds.

Also, the tabletop will need to be changed to (or veneered with) a harder wood; oak, walnut, or the like. After a short time in environment, the pine was way too soft and dinged easily. We liked the idea of doing a thicker veneer over the pine to end up with a dual-colored edge (with the thinner hardwood on top and the pine underneath).