This project started as a rectangular Ash coffee table to be given as a wedding present (only a year late–I had to build my workshop first! This is the first project from my new garage workshop). The original plan called for Ash with a walnut spline, but after I cut the dado for the spline and fitted the walnut in, I saw a different design. I decided to angle the walnut to give a spread wing look. The Ash is 1 3/4″ thick and the walnut is 5/8″ thick, so the two woods contrast beautifully in color and size. I routed a V groove in the ash wing to give a feeling of separation and lightness. The dado is 1″ deep, so I used oak dowels to strengthen the glue and to to give a little design to the wings.
I used reclaimed redwood for the legs, which I won’t do again. The wood is much softer than I expected and worried me, in terms of strength. Because of the disparity in size between the walnut and ash I didn’t want to use a full apron with 4 legs, so I made each leg assembly with a separate apron and 2 legs. Each of these are joined to the wings and are joined using pocket holes. I also wanted to make sure that the center was strong enough for someone to sit on, so I added support beams across the bottom that are dadoed into the leg apron. The top is finished with some boiled linseed oil and then several coats of Arm-R-Seal. The legs have many coats of poly.