Nathan’s Cherry and Maple Burl Coffee Table

Viewer Project - By Nathan Dyer from Friendswood, TX
Added on May 30, 2013

This is the first real piece of furniture that I’ve built in my garage shop. My woodworking experience is pretty limited. I built an Adirondack chair way back in high school wood shop and a couple of end grain cutting boards as Christmas presents after I bought my table saw in 2011. Other than that I’ve just built stuff for the shop.

My original inspiration for this table was the Comic Book Table that Marc wrote about and posted pictures of. I went through several different design ideas for the aprons and legs, and while I was still debating it, I saw some interesting projects featured during the Greene and Greene week. Based on those, I decided to go with protruding finger joints (they seemed like they would be fairly forgiving) and also decided to add a couple of square pillowed plugs to cover the dowels for the center table top support.

The frame is made from a 9″ wide, 1″ thick, and 14′ long cherry board. The top is Baltic birch plywood (because it’s cheap and dimensionally stable) that I veneered with a Maple Burl veneer. The inlay is made from 4 3/8” square walnut dowels. Some additional walnut scrap I had left over from my cutting boards was used to make the plugs. The top fits inside the cherry frame and rests on supports made from cherry and a few extra strips of plywood. The table is finished with several layers of Ceramithane Gloss.

This was my first experience with veneering and I definitely learned a lot from that process. There are a few places where the veneer bubbled, which caused some minor problems during finishing, but they really aren’t noticeable now.

Overall I’m quite pleased with how it turned out and I’m looking forward to my next project! Also, thank you Marc for your informative and entertaining videos that rekindled my interest in woodworking!