This is certainly no runofthemill projectThe look is sophisticated and sleek and the work might add a new dimension to your skills

It's easy to get into a woodworking rut — always building in the same familiar style using well-practiced techniques. We're all more comfortable sticking to what we know.

But it can be a nice change of pace to try something different and expand your skills by tackling some "outside the box" woodworking. Building this glass-panel coffee table will definitely go a long way toward filling that prescription.

The clean, crisp lines and simple details create an undeniably striking look. The frame, with its tapered legs and slightly beveled apron, has a light, almost airy appearance. But at the same time, the impression is solid and substantial. The contrasting grids supporting the glass are an immediate attention grabber.

But upon closer inspection of the table, you come away with a couple of intriguing questions. First, you may wonder how the uniquely designed frame goes together. Well, you'll discover that the joinery used to build the frame is a bit out of the ordinary. And of course this raises the question — how do you accomplish it? When you get into it, I guarantee you'll find it's all very straightforward as well as interesting. The best way to get the full picture is to schedule some shop time.

We've even included an option on page 29 that offers an equally impressive table for a bit less work. Either way, you're guaranteed a beautiful reward for the effort.

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OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 43V2 "L x 211/2"W x 18" H

around corner of top frame

NOTE: For design option without grids, see page 29

<ntrasting grids in add visual interest

Chamfers soften top edges of legs and frame o frame assembled with butt joints and screws

Legs cover heads of screws

Hardboard spline helps align leg sections during glue up

Miter joints offer seamless look

Legs are tapered after assembly

Legs glued up from two pieces of 1W-thick stock

NOTE: Legs are added to top frame after assembly

'A"-thick plate glass ■ has seamed edges

NOTE: For finishing information, see Sources on page 51

Individual grids are constructed with half-lap joints

Screws reinforce

Notch is pre-cut before leg sections are assembled

FRAME AND LEG CORNER DETAIL

Notch is pre-cut before leg sections are assembled

Screws reinforce

FRAME AND LEG CORNER DETAIL

Bevel on frame Grids and glass

Bevel on frame Grids and glass

LONG f DIVIDER

SHORT FRAME

NOTE: Assemble outer frame before fitting dividers

A) LONG FRAME RAIL

NOTE: Rail rabbets are V2" wide, divider rabbets are 'A" wide, refer to detail 'b'

LONG f DIVIDER

SHORT FRAME

NOTE: Assemble outer frame before fitting dividers

A) LONG FRAME RAIL

NOTE: Rail rabbets are V2" wide, divider rabbets are 'A" wide, refer to detail 'b'

Drill and —-counterbore for #8 x 2V2" Fh \woodscrew

building the TOP FRAME

Before putting saw to wood, let me give you a brief rundown of the job ahead. First, you'll make the divided top frame. Then you add the legs to it. This is a bit different in that the legs are usually an integral part of the frame. Finally, you'll build the four grids.

THE FRAME. As you can see above, the rectangular top frame is made up of two long and two short rails.

The frame is divided into four "grid" openings by a long divider and two short dividers. The four identically sized grids simply rest on rabbets cut into the top edges of all the frame pieces.

RABBETS. The outer frame is assembled first and then the dividers are fit inside it. So once the long and short rails are cut to width and length from l1/^'-thick stock, the next step is to cut rabbets on their top, inside edges (detail 'b'). The l"-deep rabbets will accommodate both the 3/4"-thick grids and the V-thick glass panels that rest on them. To ensure clean, crisp shoulders, I formed the rabbets with two passes across a standard blade, as shown in the box below.

FRAME JOINTS. The frame joinery is simple and solid. The pieces are butted in the corners and then reinforced with screws hidden later by the legs. To do this, the ends of the short rails need to be trimmed flush with the rabbet, as

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