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Create a Stunning Floating Table for Your Home

CEO Khai Intela
Are you looking to add a touch of elegance to your home with a unique piece of furniture? If so, look no further than a floating table. This beautiful and versatile table is not only...

Floating Table

Are you looking to add a touch of elegance to your home with a unique piece of furniture? If so, look no further than a floating table. This beautiful and versatile table is not only simple to build, but it can also be easily adapted to fit your personal style and stock. In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own floating table, offering valuable tips and insights along the way.

The Freedom of Customization

A friend approached me with a special piece of walnut and asked me to design and build a table. With only approximate measurements and complete creative freedom, I approached the project with excitement. I saw an opportunity to create not just a utilitarian table, but a work of art that would enhance any space it occupied.

Slim, Open, and Uplifting

Visualizing the table as a piece of art, I wanted it to have a slim, open, and uplifting design. Since it would be visible from the front and ends, I decided to focus on the legs. I crafted the legs to curve inward from the front and outward from the ends, creating a visually dynamic shape that changes as you move around the table. This compound band-saw work with exposed joinery adds an element of interest to the overall design.

Stock Preparation

As with any project, proper stock preparation is essential. For the legs and aprons, I recommend using 12/4 rift-sawn material. This will ensure consistent grain pattern on all sides, enhancing the visual appeal of the finished table. Take the time to select the best-looking legs and aprons, marking their orientations to maintain accuracy during the build.

Leg Template & Drilling Jig

To ensure precise joinery, it is crucial to create a leg template and drilling jig. The leg template is made from 1/8" material and serves as a guide to trace the leg profile on each leg blank. The drilling jig establishes the location of the dowel joinery that will connect the legs to the aprons. Take note of the Roman numerals labeled on the template and jig to ensure proper orientation during the drilling process.

Drill for Dowels

Using the drilling jig, begin by drilling the legs to receive the apron. The auxiliary fence attached to the jig aids in accurate positioning and drilling of the holes. Repeat the process on the aprons, making adjustments and using a spacer to shift the hole location closer to the center. The result will be a consistent and secure dowel joint between the legs and aprons.

Shape the Legs

With the dowel joinery complete, it's time to shape the legs. Using a band saw, cut the square legs to their final curved shape. Carefully follow the leg profile traced onto the leg blanks and tape the waste material back in place to aid in shaping the opposite convex side. Clean up the band-sawn faces and fair all the curves down to the pencil lines. The inside/concave surfaces can be smoothed using a small belt sander, while the outside/convex surfaces can be refined on a stationary belt sander.

Make the Aprons

Before shaping the aprons, ensure that all joinery is complete. Cut dados on the inside face of each apron to accommodate the cross-members that support and anchor the tabletop. These dados should be approximately 4" in from the ends and 7/8" wide by 3/4" deep. Fit the aprons to the legs, scribe lines to match the leg profile, and shape the aprons accordingly. Tilt the band saw table to closely match the angle of the scribe lines, ensuring a seamless transition between the aprons and legs.

Assembly Time

Once all the components are prepared, it's time to assemble your floating table. Start by attaching the cross-members to the dados in the aprons, securing them with screws and cross-dowels for added strength. Carefully shape the cross-members to match the profile of the aprons, creating a seamless connection. Glue and insert dowels into the legs and assemble the leg-to-apron joints. Use clamps and a mallet to ensure a snug and secure fit. Secure the lower shelf support dowels and use bamboo pins to lock the joints in place.

Get Horizontal

With the substructure complete, turn your attention to the tabletop and shelf. Cut the top and shelf to size, and undercut the long edges and ends. Attach the top to the base using screws, ensuring it is centered and securely fastened. Determine the final width of the shelf based on the distance between the legs and install it, taking care to align it with the support dowels. Finally, complete any necessary sanding and apply your chosen finish to enhance the beauty of the wood.

Enjoy Your Masterpiece

Congratulations! You have successfully created your own floating table. This stunning piece of furniture will undoubtedly become a focal point in any room, showcasing your craftsmanship and creativity. Whether used as a functional table or displayed as an art piece, your floating table is sure to impress.

Plan: Download the free SketchUp model for the floating table.

Brian, a Colorado-based professional furniture maker specializing in custom work with an Asian flair. You can see more of his work at brianhubel.com.