Coffee Table Project

Hello all, I am in my first semester in ID and just finished up 2 materials classes at Metro here in denver. I am pretty excited about my finished project.

This is a steel leg coffee table, powdercoated satin black with a Baltic birch ply sub-top. Above that I turned 6 risers (3 pieces each) out of aluminum. The risers screw through the 3/8 tempered glass top and rest on the aluminum base to the risers. The base is epoxied to the wood surface.

I learned quite a bit thought the process and I am looking forward to applying my new knowledge to more projects soon!

Anyhow, let me know what you think.

I should say this design is not convenient/suitable for mass-production, which will ultimately increase the manufacturing costs.

On the other hand, it looks like that this coffee table is lack of aesthetic factors in general.

For a first project I think it looks great. Nice materials. There is room for refinements. Put the knowledge you have gained on this project to work for you on your next one.

!!! And I’m not a Chinese furniture manufacturer. Thank God!

I agree: for a first semester ID student this is pretty amazing. You show a very high level of craftsmanship.

Conceptually, I like how the user could slide magazines and remotes under the glass top.

From an aesthetic perspective, it bugs me how the turned aluminum risers are inverted cones with radiused caps. Everything else is rectangular with sharp edges which makes the risers look like off the shelf parts that do not fit with your design intent even though I know you put a lot of time and effort into them… also, the thicknesses of the legs make it look very stock, like it is from IKEA. A few things for the next one: :wink:

Great stuff man, this is a pretty huge accomplishment. I can’t believe it is your first furniture project.

Thanks guys for the imput. I am pretty psyched with the outcome and I know there are plenty of things that I can change in the future.

For this first project I am not worried about mass manufacturability. I was more worried about learning to use the Lathe, welding, powdercoating and all that. I have done some work with wood before this, but none with metal.

I am excited to be done, but I am really excited to get started on another project!

I agree w/ YO’s comments on the legs.

Perhaps varying the size of the tubing would help, rectangular shapes perhaps?

I thought about using rectangular tubing to give the effect of having a angle that provided a slim look and another angle that provided a thick look. For this project, for better or worse, I decided to go with the square tubing for a simplicity thing.

Thanks for the critiques guys, I appreciate any input.

Very nice job ! I love the clean look.

Phone Golf you made the comment the table wouldn’t be convenient /suitable for mass production . Why Not? Is it because the table requires different fabrication company’s to complete the work?

The idea of being able to stow away magazine under the glass is great. It’s like they are in reach but not in your way.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the comments.

The design’s Clean Cut and Crystal … I agree with Yo … would have prefered it to be all radius thru out rather than having sharp corners for the rest of the bod and glass. Would blend in with the nice touch of rounded chrome stands you’ve created.

This shouldn’t be too tedious to mfg … I don’t know about furniture making but seems that everything can be built separately and assembled. Cone and base can be machined separately and base can be screwed on to the cone … perhaps with stick on velvet on the base to ensure there’re no chance of scratching.

IKEA’s DIY concept has its advantages … makes easier shipment and transportation too.

I would buy this :exclamation: Does it come with different cOlOrs?

And wat’s up with Chinese furniture manufacturer Scotty D? hehe :open_mouth:

Fortune Assists the Brave.

Thanks again for the comments. I have been thinking about the project more and more…well even though it is done now. With the constructive comments from here and some other brainstorming I have come up with some ideas, that probably wouldn’t help with mass manufacture, but would add some of the round edges that the table needs.

Oh and whatizhisname…it comes in any color you want, :wink:

It doesn’t do much for me. I see it as an assembly of found objects. Those inverted cones are used on high-end speakers so that they will have minimal surface contact with the ground. So what has that, conceptually, got to do with this coffee table? Or is it just an aesthetic element?


I’m working on something similar for my apt.

The place for magazines under the glass is great! and it’s the central theme of mine as well, I’ll post images when I’m further along.

So far It’s done in SW (pretty much how I want it), and I have a lot of the materials. Now all I need is time to build the damn thing :unamused:

Well, none of the objects are “found” in the literal sense, all are hand turned. Anyhow I wanted the glass to be thick and substantial but yet rest on the wood without the look of actually being attached to the wood. I also wanted something that attached through the glass. I didn’t want just a pillar of some sort that the glass rested on. This is what I came up with.

Some of the previous posts mentioned tying them into the table a bit more and I have some ideas that I may implement, when time is on my side, to tie the whole thing together a bit more.

Old post, but I agree with Yo, the glass risers throw the whole thing off, since everything is square. For a first quarter project, the craftsmanship is damn good, but I would think about the design a little bit more. To me it looks like any normal coffee table, but it’s still nice.

It might be kind of cool if you, instead of using those turned risers, use some type of aluminum L-connector or bracket to hold the glass, or maybe have the legs come up through the birch and hold the glass from 4 corners.? I dunno just brainstorming…

These are commonly used on high-end speakers to reduce the contact between the speaker and the ground. I know what you mean by how you hand made everything. That’s important when you want to feel total sense of the ownership of your work, but I just want to point out that because I have seen how metal inverted cones have been used in that particular application, I automatically relate it to how you are using it, and doesn’t find any substantial meaning for it. I also like the idea of being able to store magazines under the glass, just thought the final solution wasn’t very fitting.

Not that I am knowledgable about furniture design, I haven’t seen many explorations on the idea of “suspension” in furniture designs. Probably because it doesn’t provide a very stable state, but who knows? Maybe you can come up with something along that line.

I made a suspended shelf, a design which every element depends on one another to stay together. It’s a very risky design, definitely not marketable(due to safety issues), but I was captivated by the concept of a seed pod hanging from a branch. Yesterday I was just moving it a little bit… a piece slide out of place and everything fall apart… now I got stuffs to fix :angry:

can we see the sketch’s of this idea before building it.


I will try to post some of the sketches up. This was for a materials course and I am taking drawing courses right now, so my skills, though still on the rough side, were definitely more basic last semester.