A coffee table inspired by Sudoku puzzles. Using four wood types that correspond to numbers on four layered, 4x4 Suduko patterns, I made a table top that is utterly covered in squares.
Step 1: Plan & Prep
I didn't do a whole lot of planning on paper for this, but I started by drawing out four Suduko patterns and figuring out the layers of each square.
Working back from what I wanted the finished size to be, I worked out that each center square would be 40x40mm, and the 4 rings around each of them would be 20mm wide.
I had a rummage through my wood rack, and emerged with some Oak, White Beech, Mahogany, and Teak...four nicely contrasting woods. Using a thicknesser I planed them down to a matching thickness of 20mm, and then ripped them into rods on a table saw. I ended up needing around 4.5m worth of these 20x25mm rods (for each wood).
If you don't have a workshop to play in you could simply buy it all ready machined or work to whatever the stock size is.
Step 2: Squares in Squares in Squares in Squares....
So for phase one it was time to make up the 16 squares.
Starting with a 40x40mm center squares (four of each colour), I cut sixteen 65mm lengths out of each woods 20x25mm rods, then glued and clamped them around the squares in a spiral.
After re-squaring the edges on my bench sander I went back in on the next layer (sixteen 105mm lengths) and simply wash, rinse and repeat for the final layer (sixteen 145mm lengths).
Once the sixteen squares were glued I sanded the face side flush with a random orbit sander, and re-squared the edges again.
Step 3: ...in Squares in a Square...in a Square
Now it was time to turn the sixteen squares into one big one.
Again, this was a gradual process that started by gluing them into pairs then fours. At this point I was starting to get worried about strength, so for gluing the four groups of four together I used spline joints (cutting a channel and joining them with a with a strip of wood...like a full length biscuit joint). As a design choice I also gave each edge a slight bevel to emphasise the squareiness.
After resquaring the edges one last time I had another dig in the wood pile and found some maple to use as a border for the whole thing. I machined in down and glued it on, again with spline joints and bevels.
Step 4: Finish & Legs
After letting the wood settle for a few days I went at it with a random orbit sander using an 80 grit disc, then 120g, 180, then finally 400g. Between each grit I wet the surface to "raise the grain"
Before applying a clear wax finish I gave it a coat of sanding sealant, and final gentle rub with 1600g sandpaper by hand.
For the legs I simply ordered a set of legs from Amazon which screwed in place.
I'm really happy with how this table turned out and I'd love to see what someone else might do with the idea, or any thoughts on how it can be expanded upon. So please leave a comment below if you have any ideas.
Please check out my other 'ibles, and you can follow me on Instagram @1upLiving.