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2 Custom sofa tables using client's lumber

Objective: To create 2 sofa tables. The client wanted to see if it would be possible to use their lumber. This came from a Maple tree on their property that fell victim to the  great ice storm in 1998. They had it milled up, stored inside and air dried ever since.

Requirements:

  • Originally the idea was to make 1 8 foot table, but the wood was not long enough for that, so the decision was made to make 2 tables. The length would be determined by the wood provided.

Process:

Once I received all the pieces of wood from the client, I always try to keep it in my shop for 1 week before I do anything with it. This allows to wood to acclimatize to the new environment since wood always tried to get to equilibrium with it's surrounding humidity. Also once the pieces are cut to rough width and length, I leave them for a few days to let the new stress in the wood relax. If you work it too soon, you risk it warping as you are building.

While the wood is doing it's thing, I can work on making a model in Sketchup. This gives you a change to work out some joinery and it's a great reference for grab some measurements and potential construction problems prior to actually building it. It also benefits the clients to see the project as a 3D model, to get a feel of the proportions. dimensions etc...

Sketchup design

Sketchup design

Sketchup design

Sketchup design

This wood had major twist, cup and cracks in it, so it can be quite a challenge to figure out where to get the parts from.

laying out the parts

lay out parts

Once the wood has rested in rough cut pieces, it's time to plane and joint everything and bring it to the final dimensionsMilling Parts:

Time for some joinery, I use the CNC to cut the mortises:

 

CNC mortises

And I use a mix of traditional hand tools and machinery for the tenons:

Shoulder plane on tennon

Figuring out the leg spacing, sometimes it's easier to take the measurements right of the actual piece by laying it out where you want it:

Figuring out leg spacing

Dry fitting, and putting it all together:

Assembly

 Some pictures of the finished pieces:

Maple Sofa Table

Maple Sofa Tables

Maple Sofa Tables

1 comment

  • Thank you so much Bram – the tables are beautiful, fit perfectly, and you were such a pleasure to work with! I’m so happy the boards lingering in a back corner of the garage have found purpose. Thank you again for taking on the challenge and all of your hard work!

    Elisabeth Boekhoven

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