Jan 29, 2015

The Process: Crafting a Mid-Century Modern Walnut Coffee Table from Scratch

Hobbyist woodworker Jesse McKee of Dallas, Texas recently finished up a seriously awesome project: a mid-century modern-inspired walnut coffee table complete with storage and visible box joints that show off the piece's handcrafted origins. 

Jesse says, "[This is] a common mid century design that I added some of my favorite details to. Mainly the box joinery... I didn't come up with plans for this since I judged the height first by the height of my couch, then by proportion of the legs and box opening last. The end product ended up being 24x48" and the box is 9.5" tall and the legs are 6" tall. My favorite wood is walnut and I ordered around 200 board feet of 4/4 S4S (surfaced on all 4 sides) from my local hardwood dealer."

And by box joinery, he means this unique divider that adds structure with a series of small mortises down the center to accept the box fingers. Cool, right?

Here it is all finished up. As Jesse mentioned, this isn't an actual how-to with plans, but anyone familiar enough with this type of work could figure out the build through the process photos. The leg assembly is particularly helpful. 

See the full build process at Instructables: Mid Century Coffee Table


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Chris on Feb 03, 2015:

Thanks for your comment, Jesse. That's $160 well spent. 

Jesse McKee on Feb 03, 2015:

Hey Anonymous, I should probably update my article on Instructables, but this project only used 30 board feet of the 200 total that I purchased. It only cost $150-160 to make.

Anonymous on Feb 02, 2015:

So thats about $1800 worth of materials? ouch