Mosaic Tile Coffee Table

Viewer Project - By Shane Mooney from Offaly, Ireland
Added on February 12, 2014

I chose this project for my final year practical exam in school. I had spare mosaic tiles left over from a recent tiling job, so I decided to put them into the tabletop. After various design ideas I came up with the final project.

This design was made to provide a built-in coasters for drinks or plates. It is a common household problem having cups mark, burn and scratch the wood. Now with the tiles you can easily rest your hot cup of coffee, tea etc. on it or you can place hot plates or any cutlery on the tiled centre piece.

The idea of a colour scheme was always an idea but the rest of the wood in the room is Ash so I couldn’t really put a lot of Mahogany with it. So after thinking it out, I came up with the idea of the Mahogany inlay on the outline and it turned out very well. I also put inlay on the 4 legs. This was the most challenging as it took a lot of time to cut about 40 pieces—32 to go into legs and 8 spares. I left the inlay slightly proud of the surface and sanded it flat to give a good tight even finish.

The table top is 3 planks of Ash biscuit-joined together. The frame is mortise and tenon. I cut 2 mortises and 2 tenons by hand and then 2 mortises on the mortiser and 2 tenons on the table saw. This allowed me to experience both hand tool and power tool methods. All joints fitted tight in the end!

I finished the table by sanding from 60 grit to 80, up to 120 and 180 and finally to 320 grit then dampening it down and sanding by hand to 320. Then I applied 4 coats of Danish Oil with a rag, sanding with steel wool in between coats. I then applied 4 coats of wipe-on polyurethane for protection.

Thanks for reading. I hope you like my table. Any questions or comments, let me know!