Being from the Chesapeake Bay area and a fan of maps, I made a to scale, topographic map of the Chesapeake Bay, and then made it into a coffee table.

With cad software you can scale this down or up to engrave onto almost anything. You could also do another region.

Materials used

Lumber- I used 2x12 Pine, it would be better to use Oak or Walnut or anything other than Pine.

Wood Glue


Bar Clamps

Rhino (or any other drafting software)

CNC machine

Sand Paper



1" Black Pipe

1" Pipe Flanges


Tempered Glass

Step 1: Build Your Table

So I used 2x12 Pine I got from Lowe's. Now, if I were to do this again, I would go to a lumber yard and pick out Oak or Cherry or a nicer lumber. But alas, it worked and was easy to obtain, it's just not as pretty.

Cut your lumber to size and sand it down. Next biscuit it together using biscuits and a biscuit joiner and of course wood glue.

Bar clamp it across the top and bottom for two hours until the glue is cured.

I used a glass top on my table and purchased it first and cut my table top to match. I suggest doing this. Otherwise it will be harder to get a piece of glass to match your custom table top.

<p>Congratulations on the win in the Tables and Desks contest! Your table was my wife's favorite entry.</p>
<p>Thanks so much, glad she liked it!</p>
<p>So beautiful! We are from Glen Burnie, MD and my father-in-law had a small boat and he would often take the kids and hubby when we were visiting (we were Army so didn't get to spend as much time up home as we would like) and go out on the Chesapeake Bay. I am not much of a boater, but we did visit the area often as well. Love it and good luck!</p>
<p>You got my vote!</p>
<p>This idea could be really cool if you take a thin layer of darker wood and laminate it on top before doing the routing (even just a 1/8&quot; veneer). This would give a more dynamic range to the land vs the bay.</p><p>Good work. What scene shop are you working out of?</p>
<p>Read what you said and got the thought that this would look great if done in plywood.</p><p>Like a bunch of laminates.</p><p>Anyhow. GREAT idea here. Love the way it turned out :)</p>
<p>Thanks, Right now I'm a graduate student at Ohio Unviersity.</p>
Ahhhh, tell Dan-Mike and Vince hello.
<p>Nice art piece. Great use for the cnc.</p><p>Can you explain how you got vector files from the maps? Do you find vector elevation maps on the web, delete the vectors you don&quot;t need?, </p><p>You are sure right about staying around to watch the cut &quot;just in case&quot; .</p>
<p>You can download images form online and import them into a cad program. Then re-scale and alter. You can try to rasterize the image, or just trace over it with the line tool in whichever program you have.</p><p>So I drew the actual vector files. Both from importing images and tracing, and referencing on a different screen as I drew them.</p>
<p>The only thing I would do different, is maybe an oak border around the table the height of the glass, so the glass won't move, or shift, also it won't chip if a drink glass, hit it's edge, down side,.. if you spill a drink it will end up on the inside....</p>
<p>That is such an excellent idea. I am so adapting this!</p>
<p>You should fill the bay with resin and take off the glass! </p>
<p>That's the plan. With this one or a second one.</p>
<p>I have a 5 x 10 cnc with lots of downtime to fill. This looks like a great fit. Are you available to consult via phone?</p>
<p>That's a pretty sweet table. Next challenge: greater detail. :D</p>
<p>Congratulations on a great idea, very well executed.</p>
<p>Beautiful job KUDOS!</p>
<p>Awesome, really very lovely indeed. I've heard of Chesapeake Bay but no idea (other than it's over N America somewhere) but I love maps etc. Marvellous.</p>
<p>This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I sail the Chesapeake and I am going to have to try to duplicate your fine work. Your effort is beyoind awesome.</p>
Yep ongoing to try this, best part I have the glass looking for a project. I love it!
Awwww yisssss
<p>Coolest thing I have seen today on the Internet.</p>
<p>I have spent many happy times on The Bay, Assateague Island.</p>
<p>I realize you wanted oak or cherry or any other hard wood for this project. But with the relief cuts in the pine, it doesn't need any other wood grain. In fact the pine may have been the better chose for this project. Other wood grins may have taken attention off the relief cuts. JMHO</p>
Cool idea.
this is fantastic.

About This Instructable




Bio: Technical theatre artist and designer.
More by Scenic Sauthoff:Chesapeake Bay Coffee Table Medieval Crusader Great Helm Traditional Round Farmhouse Table 
Add instructable to: