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Editor’s note: The measured drawings for the Risom coffee table in this article by Michael Crow are similar to the shop drawings included in Crow’s new book, “Mid-Century Modern Furniture.” The book presents shop drawings and techniques for creating 29 projects designed by some of the era’s foremost designers, including Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, George Nelson and many others. The book is available in paperback for preorder and available now as a downloadable PDF at

Risom round coffee table

Jens Risom, c. 1960, 16″ h x 42″ w x 42″ d, walnut

There’s something vaguely spider-like in the shape of the legs in this round coffee table by Jens Risom. At 16″ high, the table may be a little short for comfortable use. Adding a couple inches of height to the legs to raise the top can be accomplished without altering the effect of the design. The drawings here omit the original lazy susan mechanism in favor of a simpler stretcher design. Re-introducing the mechanism may require some modification to the stretcher design to preserve the 1/2″ gap between the base and top. Mortise and tenons join the legs to the stretchers, which cross in a half lap. Table top fasteners or angle brackets can connect base and top.

Quantity Description Thickness Width Length
4 leg 3/4″ 2 5/8″ 14 3/4″
2 stretcher 3/4″ 4″ 38 3/4″
1 top 3/4″ 42″ 42″
Risom coffee table (exploded)

Exploded view

Risom coffee table side view

Side view



Mid-Century Modern FurnitureFor more projects like this check out “Mid-Century Modern Furniture: Shop Drawings & Techniques for Making 29 Projects” by Michael Crow.



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