"Queen Anne" Coffee Table - Sapele - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-11-2019, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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"Queen Anne" Coffee Table - Sapele

I’m calling this a “Queen Anne” table pretty much just because of the legs: I think it makes it sound a lot fancier! A friend of mine wanted a smallish coffee table (42 inches long, 26 inches wide, 16 inches tall), and they really wanted me to make it for them.

It’s all sapele, which I LOVE. It’s dense, tough, and beautiful. I also recommended a tung oil “friction finish”, because they already have one toddler and a newborn (or will soon). In my experience, the friction sealing makes a piece essentially liquid-proof, handles heat (like coffee mugs) a lot better than poly, and – most importantly – handles damage a lot better as well. In a highly polished polyurethane finish, a ding (such as might be caused by a toy car) or a scratch (like a toddler dragging car keys along it) stands out quite a bit as clear, obvious damage. However, in a piece finished with tung oil (like our own coffee table), the table seems to incorporate the damage into the overall look. Damage is much less obvious, and much less of a flaw that needs to be fixed.

This project had quite a few firsts for me, and the biggest was definitely the cabriole legs. I didn’t have a bandsaw, and so I knew I would be doing quite a lot of chisel work, but honestly the legs came together a lot quicker and easier than I anticipated. The first leg, I pretty much made according to a Popular Woodworking article about making them by hand: Basically using long cuts from a hand-saw to remove most of the material, before going after the rest with a chisel and draw knife (although I didn’t have the draw knife, so it was all chisel work).

It turned out pretty well, but for the other 3 legs, I thought I could do a little better. I used my table saw to “outline” the cuts, going at quarter-inch intervals, and it worked spectacularly. It greatly reduced the amount of wood I had to remove with my chisels, and helped me make the legs even more consistent.

This was also my first time making something completely out of sapele, and I hope I’m able to do it again soon! It planes beautifully, and the chatoyance is incredible. The whole table shifts as you walk around it, and I love it.

I also had a lot of fun making my first elliptical jig for my router (thanks Popular Woodworking!). It worked like magic, giving me a perfect oval.

Overall, this project was a LOT easier than I thought it would be. Even with just a few hours a day, it took me about a week and a half while also working on a couple smaller projects (another huge advantage of friction sealing over polished poly!). I hope I’m able to make another one through Etsy soon!
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difalkner, Tom-G, landman and 5 others like this.

Mackenzie Mulligan of Mulligan Woodworking!


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post #2 of 9 Old 09-12-2019, 05:20 PM
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Gorgeous piece of work! Nicely done.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-12-2019, 07:05 PM
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Impressive. Good work!

Mother is the necessity of most invention.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-12-2019, 11:06 PM
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Beautiful table Mackenzie!

I go overboard with every hobby I get involved in.......no exceptions!
Tom
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-13-2019, 11:53 AM
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Looks great!

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-13-2019, 02:06 PM
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No toys or old diapers under the couch. No juice stains. The floor is vacuumed. That house is way too clean to have kids. Lies! All lies!

But the table is very nice, indeed.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-13-2019, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
No toys or old diapers under the couch. No juice stains. The floor is vacuumed. That house is way too clean to have kids. Lies! All lies!

But the table is very nice, indeed.
Ha! For most of my projects, we have a very specific corner of the house that we clean to the "no kids" standard. This one, being a coffee table, required a bit more preparation, but since it was after bedtime, we were able to make it happen! (In my earlier project pics and Etsy listings, before I learned the importance of good pictures, the results weren't nearly so good: trash, toys, and/or my feet were in very nearly every picture).
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-20-2019, 08:51 AM
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Really nice work!!

Rich

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post #9 of 9 Old 09-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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Nice job!
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