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Coffee Table / Chest
31 July 2005

Second in my series of Since I Had Twins projects, this table was thrown together in very short time.  It took the equivalent of a weekend, but spread out over a month, since I can't get more than two hours at a time in the shop :)  There is a picture of the table it replaced at the bottom - can you believe my S.O. put up with that for 10 years?

This is one of the few projects I have built without detailed plans. It started with a sketch, approved by the S.O., and I made up the rest as I went. Except for the panels, which are 1/4" oak ply leftover from another project, the table is made from a pair of 28" round tabletops that were factory rejects. Since this project was purely functional and is expected to take significant abuse in the family room from the aforementioned twin boys, I didn't worry about grain matching, wood tone, fine finishing or other details I might have on other projects.

The sides are simple frame-and-panel construction. The bottom rails sit 1/4" off the floor on the legs/styles. The long sides are plate joined to the short sides and then screwed and plugged. The plate joints (biscuits) are plenty strong on their own - the screws were added for two reaons: 1) to substitute for clamps, making the glue-up easier 2) I liked the plugged screw-holes as a stylistic addition to the straight lines of the craftsman styling.


To keep the top down securely, I used these latches that are made to pull together expandable table sections. They are not indended to be seen...which is obvious because they don't have the nicest finish. They are a little easier to see than I had hoped. Hopefully someday I'll find a suitable replacement.

What it replaced: