Introduction: Floating End-Table
This table's surface is suspended by steel cable and "floats" free of any other support. After many hours spent on trampolines as a kid, I thought it'd be fun to try and incorporate some bounce into a usually static object. I had a lot of fun with this build and hope you enjoy this guide!
Step 1: Supplies
Time to build: ~12 hours
Tools: saw, clamps, drill, crimping tool (swaging tool, lineman pliers), square, tape measure
- (4) 1"x2"x4' oak boards
- (1) 2'x2' 1/2" birch plywood
- (1) 8' 1/6" steel wire rope
- (1) 3' 1/4" oak dowel
- (1) 3' 1/8" oak dowel
- (1) stop and ferrule kit
- Red Mahogany stain
- (4) 3/8" wood plugs
- (4) 2" wood screws
Step 2: Tabletop: Alignment
Because the table top "floats" I built the table in two stages. The first stage consisted of cutting the two outside pieces and the middle spacer out of the plywood.
- Top/Bottom: 10" x 10"
- Middle spacer: 8.5" x 8.5"
Step 3: Tabletop: Post Holes
To get the post holes as straight as possible I clamped the top directly onto the bottom piece. Clamping the assembly onto the corner of the workbench allowed me to drill two sides without readjusting. After drilling two guide holes on different sides I placed dowels as place holders to prevent shifting.
I spaced the holes evenly across each side and centered 1/2" from the edge. After the holes were completed I stained the panels individually then glued them together. I used the posts to keep the alignment but left them unglued.
Step 4: Top Frame
Each side of the frame is 13.5" I joined the corners with a simple tongue and groove joint and joined them with woodglue. Each post gets two holes centered on the corresponding post in the table top. The holes are 1/8" in diameter and 1" apart. The last pictures shows the cable fed through during a test-run.
Step 5: Legs
For the legs I went with a repeating pattern of on-edge groove and on-face dowel connection. I wasn't as precise as I should have been and one of the legs bends inwards quite noticeably due to a slightly shorter connecting piece. The edge-slots worked well but I had some issues with putting the dowel rods into the end of the "incoming" connection arm. I attached the top frame with woodglue and screws placed adjacent to the corner joint.
Step 6: Putting It All Together!
To hold the table top and the frame at the same level I set the whole assembly upside down then threaded the cable through. I used 1" spacer blocks to hold the tabletop in the center of the frame. The starting end of the cable was locked in place with a set of vice-grips (with a rag underneath to protect the wood). I finished off the end with a ferrule & stop that locked the two ends of the cable together. A quick coat of poly to protect against water and it's done!
- Make the cable holes wider than 1/8". The cable kept getting caught on the wood and fraying. by the time I got around the table I had trimmed half the strands off the cable.
- Use lineman pliers (not a swaging tool) to crush the ferrules so you can get in the small spaces between the frame and the tabletop.
- Accuracy with cuts is important Poor joints will fill you with guilt every time you walk by and look at them.
Hope you enjoyed!
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