This morning, I spent a few hours in the shop fitting tenons for a coffee table and gluing up the base. Obviously, I need to make and install a web frame and the drawers (which, if everything is close enough to
square, will push/pull through from both sides). But I’m at a design impasse. I simply can’t decide what to do about the top. So read on, then please give me
your opinion in the comments.
Initially, I designed a frame-and-panel top, and I still
like the way it looks. But as my coworkers pointed out, one coffee spill or one crumbled cookie, and I was going to be very unhappy when the crud seeped under
the panel and got stuck (or worse, dripped down into the drawers). I could stick with this design and put a piece of glass over the top, but I just don’t like the look of glass on the top (though I could be
I have a wide enough piece of cherry with nice-looking
figure for a two-board glue-up, so I could just go with that, and add some kind of edge treatment – probably a simple ogee or bullnose. But I dunno – that
seems kind of plain, and I’m a mite worried about the panel staying flat because the temperature and humidity fluctuate wildly in my house (I’m too cheap to turn on the air-conditioning if it’s 85° or below, and in the winter, 60° is as warm as it gets).
Option three is breadboard ends. Maybe pegged. Maybe not. But, while I can’t articulate why, I’m not sold on that look for this piece.
So what do you think? And other suggestions are welcome.
(Caveat: I’ve been known to ignore good advice in the past.)
• Assuming I figure out what kind of top I want to make, this coffee table will likely appear in a future issue of the magazine. But if you’re looking for table plans right now (or for an altogether different sort of table or aesthetic), check out “The Table Book,” in which you’ll find plans, cutlists and step-by-step instructions for 35 table projects, in a variety of styles and sizes.