Maybe it’s because it’s easier to find a place to put an extra chair than an extra table. Or maybe it’s that I deeply despise the taste of coffee. (I do enjoy toffee, though, if you every want to bring m some). Whatever the reason, I haven’t made many coffee tables. For my friends Jessica McKay and Christopher Van Buskirk of Birdhouse Interior design and Birdhouse Collectible, I’ve returned to the form to design (with a little help from Christopher) a new piece that challenged me in new ways.
Most of the functional pieces I make tend to be intricate or complex in form or fabrication. The two fairly simple looking tables, which I’m calling “Intimacy” are actually very complicated to make, from start to finish.
My first challenge with this design was accurately translating the curved disk. It’s pretty easy to scale up a piece with straight edges. For something like this, I had to pull out some transparency paper and an old school overhead projector to enlarge the drawing. I projected the image onto a piece of poster board and traced it to make a template for the full-sized design.
After gluing the pieces for each of the 4 disks together I traced on the template, cut them to the right shape, rounded over the edges, sanded them nice and smooth and brushed them with some glossy polyurethane (per Jessica’s request).
The legs and dividers between each set of disks tested my skills with geometry, the bandsaw and my 1970’s-era lathe.
As I do in most of my wooden pieces, I finished this piece with a set of plugs – these made from canary wood – to add a simple, elegant contrast on the top.