Reader's Gallery

Furlough Table (Entrance Table)

comments (0) December 12th, 2013 in Reader's Gallery

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I developed the concept for this table after growing frustrated with our always-cluttered entrance table, which my wife had noticed was also growing a bit tired. The table combines a walnut frame with three cubbies to accommodate magazines, mail, and a basket of keys, with a book-matched zebrawood tabletop.  


After milling the walnut that would form the legs and frame, the project sat mostly idle for two years while I figured out how to do the joinery, solved the puzzle of how to give the frame enough rigidity so that the cubbies could hold weight without sagging, and generally waited for the serious chunk of free time I would need to put the plan into action.That chunk of free time came with the federal government's partial shutdown in October 2013, when I found myself furloughed for just over two weeks.This table kept me very busy during the furlough, and I affectionately call it the "furlough table."


For joinery, the table uses sliding dovetails to attach the apron rails and spacers to the legs, forming the rectangular case structure. The back panel is frame-and-panel. The table top, an inch thick slab of zebrawood, is the most rigid single feature of the table. To incorporate this strength for the cubbies, the cubby walls form the vertical portion of an I-beam. The walls slot into sliding dovetail joints in 1x3 walnut rails at the top and bottom. The top of the I-beam is attached to the underside of the table top with cabinet screws, and the bottom of the I-beam sits under the cubbies' bottom panels, supporting them. The tops and bottoms of the I-beams are also pocket-screwed into the top, bottom, front, and back apron rails of the table. In retrospect, this probably would have been enough. But with the whole table functioning structurally, it should hold our heavy magazines and frequently neglected mail nicely without sagging for some time to come.

Design or Plan used: My own design

posted in: Reader's Gallery, table, dovetails, walnut, tenons, frame and panel, side table, zebra wood, Occasional table, entrance table, zebrawood

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