Coffee Table: Design

It seemed like we needed a table to go in front of the couch.  We could play games on this table instead of on the floor.  I deployed a piece of plywood on boxes as a prototype at the customary 18″ height.  After a while I turned the boxes and raised the height to 24″.  At first this seemed odd but it quickly became more comfortable than the lower height.  Seated at the table you could get your legs underneath it.  It was easier to reach things.  In fact, I began to wonder why anybody would want an 18″ table.  That height seems to be suitable only for use as a footstool.

This was the first project I designed using Sketchup.  The design came out unusual because I wanted to have a large overhang, so that you could get your legs under the table somewhat, but I also wanted drawers.  If I put the drawers in the customary location right under the tabletop then they have the clear the large overhang before you can get anything out.  That didn’t make sense.  If I put them close to the floor, it seemed likely that they’d hit the couch or the legs of the person sitting on the couch.  So I ended up with drawers at the ends instead, with a couple very small drawers on the front for pens and paper.

With the basic form taking shape I had the problem of deciding how to attach the shelf and handle wood movement.  None of the techniques I read about seemed right.  I finally hit on the method of using a tongue and groove joint with the tongue free to expand and contract in the groove.

I asked for a design critique on Design Matters, and tweaked the design based on the suggestions I got there.

Here is the final design in Sketchup:

table1 table2 table3

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