A recent project I completed was a glass top shadow box coffee table. The customer wanted the table refinished and we made some cosmetic changes to update the look. See pictures.
Well her friend had been looking for something similar on the internet but had not had any luck. She asked if that was something I could make for her. Here is the result! I hope you like it!
She wanted something more traditional. I started by looking for a reasonably priced table leg. The one I found was from Van Dyke’s Restorers. They have tons of shapes and sizes. It was on sale, around $16 each plus some shipping. I sketched up a square table per her request. The table would be 42” wide, 42” long and 18 ¾” tall. (the sketch originally had a 15” leg but it did not suit her). I attempted to use stock wood for all the components to keep it simple, on time and on budget.
Materials / tools:
(4) table legs of choice
(4) 1” x 6” x 8’ #1 pine for the table top and skirt
(2) 1” x 2” x 8’ pine
(2) ¾” x ½” trim pine (stop?)
(2) ¾” decorative trim
(1) 4’ x 4’ ¼” birch plywood for the base of the shadowbox area
Pocket hole jig
Router with ¼” bit
Hand sander (palm rotary is what I have)
Safety First! Wear goggles, dust mask, ear protection, gloves! Don't skip because it is inconvenient!
Bad things can happen and never when you expect. I recently had to rush my helper to the eye doctor. We had finished cutting, sanding etc. on a different project. Just doing some assembly. However, he bumped something and saw dust came raining down on him. Some got in his eye. He was in agony and had to have his eye cleaned and treated by the Doctor. He is fine now but they were worried for a time about cornea damage. So it is a good idea to keep your safety gear on whenever possible and keep your shop clean and orderly.
Photos: Our project, before and after on the original, the legs we used and finally our original sketch
I began by cutting two 1”x 6” x 8’ in half. I then routed a quarter inch wide/ deep groove on each board to hold the glass flush to the top. Each section needed to be 42” so I then miter cut 45 degree at each end to the proper length. I ended up with 4 sections that made the frame of the top.
I test fit the pieces upside down on the floor and placed the legs in place to check spacing. I centered the legs along the miter cut evenly. I then measured that space to determine the skirt length. I then cut the remaining 1” x 6” boards to make the pieces for the skirt and set them aside. I took the top pieces inside to the flattest most level spot in my house, our kitchen island. I placed the top pieces on the counter, ran glue on the miters and then used a strap clamp to pull the pieces together. Flat items tend to bow when strapped so I placed a heavy paint can on each corner while they dried. To keep my wife happy and her not kill me, I placed a small piece of wax paper under each area that was glued so that it wouldn’t leak on the counter top.