Coffee Table


I built this coffee table concurrently with several other pieces of living room furniture.  The style is basically Mission.  I used solid Maple and veneers, the joinery is traditional mortise and pegged tenon.

The top is veneered with Birdseye Maple that I cut into veneer myself.  This was my first project working to an extent with my own veneer.  I learned how and how-not-to use it after completing these furniture pieces.

The top is an MDF substrate to which the veneer was applied.  To hide the edges, it is banded with solid Maple on all sides.

After some experimentation, I decided to cut all the mortises using a forstner bit chucked into the drill press and a cross-slide vise.   The system worked well but that's a lot of mortises.  I do have a hollow chisel attachment for the drill press but it did not cut as well as the forstner.  I could have justified one of the low end dedicated mortisers but I've seen too many bad stories about them on the net.  What I think I would like to use would be a horizontal slot mortiser, maybe on the next mission project!

The original finish is water based aniline dye stain with two coats of Deft gloss and semi-gloss (each) lacquer sprayed with a conventional gun.  At a later date, I tried to get a glossier finish on just the top.  I stripped the top and applied sealer and oil based polyurethane with an HVLP spray rig.   After that had cured for 2 or 3 weeks used an air sander to sand the surface to 600 grit and then polished the surface with a buffer and 3M polishing compound.  I still don't have it as glossy as I would like.