Side-Table, w/Floating Top

A recently completed work, for my wife, a small side-table.

Reclaimed Locust, w/Purple Heart accents. The Table Top (picture 4) is supported by 2 lamination sets which arc between the long axis legs – the laminations begin at 3" wide, and are bandsawn to create an arc 1" wide a the center, widening to approximately 2" at the leg.

The floating top is created by extending the under-table lamination beyond the plane of the table top, bandsawing the top part of the exposed arc, and joining the lamination to the leg well-below the plane of the table top. The legs are purposely stopped below the plane of the table top.

The shelf slates are M&T (dominos). The finish is 1 coat of Zinsser clear coat, with 4 coats Deft w-b poly (very good). Dry coats are wet-sanded at 600 grit.

Locust has an unpredictable grain – allowing both bone-smooth surfaces and rough sinewy strands which are near impossible to sufficiently smooth. Also, the use of reclaimed wood, and my wife’s interest in the ‘natural’ look, means that knots and voids are simply part of the build.

If the members have any questions, please let me know. As with all of my projects, layout is more than 50% of the overall build time (about 20 hours).

Everyone, Do Take Care.

Woods: black loc purple heart

Tools: bandsaw; ts jointer my entire shop

Tags: floating top table


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Madts ...

Now that is one very cool table.


Jack ...

That is a beautiful piece of work. As far as the design, do you see it complete in your mind before you start or is it combining parts as you go?

MJCD ...

Madts, Jack: thank you for the comments and question…

Jack: this project, I knew what I wanted to do prior to starting – which is different from the Contemporary Desk finished last month. I had completed much research on floating-top tables; but found a normal table that looked good to me; then, I reverse engineered the floating-top. Since the legs are canted at 4.5 degrees (off 90), I had to cut the Shelf/Leg joints at 94.5 degrees (to the long axis of the Leg). To keep the tops of the Legs in the same plane as the Table Top, I used the router table to create the Leg Tops – a detail point. Once you take things out of straight or 90 degrees, things get interesting…

Thanks, again.

a1jim ...

Great looking table Mike a cool design and excellent workmanship.

MJCD ...


Thanks for the comments…
This is my first ‘fine’ work with Locust, and I should have done a better job worrying about grain… grain density, specifically: I’d get one section where I wanted, then the adjoining section would be irretrievably inferior. For work outside my household (this is for my wife), I’ll think twice about doing anything in Locust. That said, this is from reclaimed timber; not from planks inspected and purchased at a lumber mill.

I’m pleased with the finish; which is to say a fairly minimal one: the clear-coat is not visible, and the Deft w-b poly doesn’t plastic-up the top coat.

You Take Care.

oldrivers ...

one fine table, great design, job well done.

David Roberts ...

I love it! I would like to see the underneath of the top where it joins the mount!


MJCD ...


Picture #4 shows this. Layout is key to getting this correct (the legs square across the diagonals) – the two arcs must be the same length, and the leg tilt must be identical for the two sides to mirror each other: if this is done correctly, then the 4 legs are offset to the table by the same amount.


Wheaties - Bruce A Wheatcroft ( BAW Woodworking) ...

Fantastic job . Really nice work . Your skills can be seen in your work .

MJCD ...

Bruce: Thanks for the comment. As we all do with things we make, I look at what I could have done better, each time I see the table. One of these days, when I retire from retirement, I’ll take that extra day or so to perfect something…


More Creations MJCD

Side-Table, w/Floating Top