• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Need some creative ideas for this project!

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi all,

I started about a week ago making a coffee table with 2 drawers out of black walnut, well so far I have made the 4 legs, & the stretchers, I was going to do the stretchers & top out of solid but at these prices I came up with a easy way of making a veneer, I glued on a 1" thick planed board to some 19mm Ply, I then ran it through the bandsaw & was left with a nice 2mm piece glued on, I then thicknessed this to make it smooth, the stretchers & top are done with this method, the top is waiting on a solid breadboard edge, oh & the legs are solid of course :) (this method is probably not anything new, just new to ME! hehe)

Im a little stuck now though as im lacking ideas, I came up with the idea of a very small bead on the stretchers which was a pain in the bum to make as its so fiddly, but the end result was worth it (I hope).

The problem areas are the legs, I thought of putting a double bead at the bottom of the stretchers for more detail (& to hide the ply edge), then I thought that this same bead could continue around the leg, mitred at the edge, but its below this detail that I cant think of what to do, so I wondered if you guys had any neat ideas?

Here are some pics to help you have some idea of what im building, the top is only placed roughly on top so you can get a better impression of the final piece.

This is an overall shot of the table, this is the back by the way, the front has 2 drawers.



Here is the front of the table:




Now about that beading, here are some pics:



Dont worry, that gap between the stretcher & leg is because I havent glued anything up yet :shock:





Any ideas would be appreciated, ive made up a matching leg in softwood so I can try out some ideas before carving up the expensive walnut.

Oh & the top is going to have a dentil inlay of 12mm, ive yet to order that from the net, but this is the design I had in mind:



This was from Anita Marquetry:
http://www.marquetry.co.uk/main/hub/hub.shtml

They only do it in 6mm, but I found this place that does a 12mm:
http://www.originalmarquetry.co.uk/default.asp

If you know of anymore sites please let me know, im not ordering just yet so....

Ok then, any ideas/feedback will be more than welcome,

Nick :wink:
 

Gill

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2003
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincs
Hi Nick

That coffee table looks mighty impressive. I think you're right about the legs needing a bit of further work, though.

I'm not sure that they'll need any more decoration, but have you considered tapering the insides of the legs?

Gill
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nick:

Design is always hard! To my eye, and this is a personal opinion, you have a very patterned top with the beading and inlays and all, so it's going to look just a little top heavy. Or is it? Do you want to draw attention to the legs, or do you want the top to appear as if it's floating? Your legs are quite 'heavy', so anything you put on them is going to draw the eye down rather than keeping it at the top. The intention should be to have the eye move around the piece, but not be held anywhere.

Anyway, eneough of the theory! My personal thought would be to try a piece of the banding at the bottoms of the legs, bordered by more beading. This should be just a fraction off the actual floor. You're repeating the pattern on the top so are integrating the legs with the top so it will have the effect of holding the eye (stops it running off the table onto the floor), while at the same time the addition of the beading should make the legs appear to look a fraction thinner below the bead, adding a little balance and also stopping the eye from going further off the piece.

The one major dreawback that I can think of this suggestion is that unless your top is 'strong' enough, the bottoms of the legs will look huge. The top needs to be the right size and weight and pattern to counterbalance the addition to the legs or the whole thing will look a bit strange!

You should hear SWMBO talk about her paintings!

Try it dry first!

My 2p..
 

trevtheturner

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire, UK.
Hi Nick,

It's looking very nice. IMO I don't think I would consider running the beading around the legs or, indeed, adding any further decoration. The 'boring area' you have indicated I think shows off the beautiful walnut to best advantage as it is. I like the fluting at the top of the legs but feel that that is just enough and that any further decoration would detract from the attractiveness of the walnut. If you want to lighten the legs a bit I go along with the suggestion of an inside taper, but I wouldn't seek to make them look heavier by adding to them. I'm no expert, so just my view FWIW.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Mcluma

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2005
Messages
1,835
Reaction score
0
Location
Pyrford - Woking
I agree with Gill leave the beading, to much fidely things could take the eye away from the strong bold lines.

to give it that exclusive feeling i would also (like Gill said) do some tapering on the legs,

PS what kind of hardware will you be using for the dawers (i mean knobs) maybe you can do some inlay in the legs with a contrasting colour (equal to the colous of the knobs

McLuma
Ps nice piece of furniture
 

Philly

Established Member
Joined
24 Nov 2003
Messages
6,874
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset, England.
Nick
Great idea with the veneering method-I hadn't thought/heard of that one!
Will give it go soon-by the way, what the depth of cut on your bandsaw??
Cheers
Philly :D
 

dedee

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Messages
2,637
Reaction score
1
Location
14860, France
Nick,
What would happen visually if you staggered the fluting further down the legs. The outside going close to the bottom the middle one half way up and the inside one close to where it is now? Would it have the effect of making the leg look tapered or would it just look awful?

I've never tried this sort of thing so I am most definately not speaking from experiance


Andy
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Philly, I have the Record bandsaw (RSBS14) it has an 8" depth of cut,

Yes the veneering method was real simple, I planed one side of the 1" thick board & used contact adhesive to glue it to the ply, then 24 hours later once its all cured I held the ply side against the fence & bandsawed off whatever thickness I wanted, I done about 3mm & then thicknessed it down to 2mm, which is a nice amount to work with, not enough to have any strength but enough to play around with, no chance of breaking through when sanding etc..

If you get a chance to try it you will see its very simple, ive managed to get a lot more out of my 2 pieces of walnut by this method, at the moment ive got a whole board left over, not bad at all.

Nick :)
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
Nick,

Nice lateral thinking on the veneering - well done!

I agree with the others who think the beading on the legs is too much. Like Gill, I think a taper might be nice, they are a little heavy at the moment. Possibly stopped chamfers?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nice lots of ideas coming though, thanks!!

To answer the reply that the legs are rather thick & heavy, I do agree, but then I guess I was trying to go for this rather than spindly legs, I held up a line on the legs to see what a gentle taper would be like but for some reason it looks very strange.

Ive been very fond of tapering the legs on some other pieces ive made in the past as it gives elegance, but on this project I tried to go for a chunky look, the legs are almost 3" (front/back view) by 2 1/2" on the side view.

It does look better in real life, the camera seems to have made the legs look overly big.

One thing ive just thought of by looking at the photos, is I wonder if its just a case of the legs being too long? I wonder what the average coffee table height is? I will have a look in the argos catalogue, not that any of that "wood effect" junk is anything to strive for :lol:

Coming up with a good design is very hard isnt it?

Oh & the other thing, the top ive shown is 18mm thick, im going to make it a little bit thicker as I think its too thin considering the size of the legs.

Ok, well im going to start making the drawers now until im settled a bit more on the leg design,

Appreciate all the comments everyone has made here, I will take them all on board,

Nick :wink:
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
The thing to remember with coffee tables is you spend all the time looking down on them. Have you put it on the ground and looked at it from above? Might be that the "boring area" becomes irrelevant. Also I agree with Trev to some extent. Walnut's not a boring wood in appearance; the natural figure will provide a certain amount of interest. You could even argue that there's a danger of over-doing the decorative touches and ending up with something a little too "busy" with too many patterns competing with each other. But I'm certainly no design guru, and it's always harder to say from a pic than "in the flesh", so apply liberal salt to all of the above. :D

Oh, and your rate of progress is much too quick - you'll make the rest of us look bad! :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nick_C":3h49jvra said:
One thing ive just thought of by looking at the photos, is I wonder if its just a case of the legs being too long? I wonder what the average coffee table height is?
About exactly the height to give your shins a nasty graze when you bump into it in the middle of the night while wandering to the kitchen to get a glass of water, with the lights out!

Very nice table though - chunky legs can be good - I've seen some lovely coffee tables where the legs were just solid slabs, with crude DT joinery at the top, and they didn't look out of place.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yep thats an idea, I will give it a try on a scrap first & hold it up to the original & see what its like, its not a bad shape.

It does look better on the floor rather than on the workbench, or in my case the tablesaw top as my workbench is SO cluttered!

I might be going overboard with the detail, it might be a case of leave well alone, but ive got a few scraps of softwood gluing up at the moment to make another fake leg, so I will play around & see what happens.

I measured the height, that seems ok (more luck than judgement), approx 40cm high, after a quick flick through the argos catalogue im seeing 40's to 45cm on most tables, so I wont go cutting the legs down.

Oh I marked out a taper a little while ago but for some reason a taper really doesnt work on this at all, it might be because the legs are dumpy, a taper tends to look best on long legs where the taper can sweep gently down giving elegance, with this it was more like a nasty angled cut, very weird that it didnt do anything for it.

I saw some of those REAL chunky tables on the net, is that the modern thing these days? I know im complaining about my table looking too chunky but one of these tables had a 5" thick top which was mitred (yep mitred) into what looked like 5" x 5" legs, I dont like mitres used like that, looked very strange, maybe thats the fashion now? I prefer something a little more challenging than to just plane up a slab of wood, chop off some legs, mitre it all together, oil it & bobs your uncle :shock:

I guess at the end of the day, everyones tastes are different.

This is the first time ive used American Walnut though, im a little worried that it might be a tad dark, but its VERY nice to work with a nice figure to it, its also very close grained which I like, should finish nicely.

Nick :wink:
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
Nick_C":p3pomurn said:
This is the first time ive used American Walnut though, im a little worried that it might be a tad dark, but its VERY nice to work with a nice figure to it, its also very close grained which I like, should finish nicely.
Nick, it does finish nicely, but depending on the look you are after, you may need to fill the grain as it is quite an open pored wood.

It smells great when freshly cut - doesn't? I think it is very a very fruity smell - almost makes my mouth water.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes the smell was the first thing that I noticed, its quite a nice smell.

On the other hand I have this piece of softwood, just white spruce I think, but for some reason it STINKS!!! & I really do mean that, when cut it fills the room with a smell of cat sh*t.. :shock: ahh its a horrible piece of wood.

I did try grainfilling many years ago, but with horrible results, I had the rustins grainfiller & worked it into the grain but found it a real messy job, much like doing the grouting when tiling, maybe I did it all wrong I dont know, but now I tend to leave the wood as it is, no stain, just an oiled finish.

Nick :wink:
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
Nick,

Grain filling can be messy but it produces beautiful results in conjunction with a high gloss lacquer finish.

OTOH, walnut looks great with an oil finish too - I sand up to 1000 grit for an oil finish, although the big improvements are up to 500 grit. Some people recommend wet sanding for walnut and oil finishes but I don't bother. I do sand between coats though.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Oh, that was something that I have been meaning to post for a while, total change of subject,

In a timelife book ive got, its got the cutting list of each project & there is a oak cabinet I wouldnt mind have a go at next, but its got the following in the cutting list which I cant figure out what it means.

3/4" x 7" x 29" (2 boards at 5 bd. ft each)

I get the dimensions, but what on earth is this 5 bd. ft each ?? in another project its got a similar thing but with, 3.6 bd. ft each...

Anyone come across this before?

Nick :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I just googled bd.ft and it is length x width x thickness / 144 = bd.ft
I take it that is the US term for cubic foot then?!
 
Top