Tile-Topped Coffee Table

This reader-submitted coffee table features hand-made joinery and a clever use of tile for the tabletop.

I wanted to share this project that I’m so proud of: a custom built coffee table with marble stone tiles on top.

To use stone tiles for the top of a table is a great way to give furniture a more luxurious feel without spending a lot of money. Me and my husband built this table from scratch without using any nails or screws, but instead doing a lot of chiseling and some gluing. We chose hemlock wood and stained it in red mahogany.

For the top, we used 12 x 12 inch white carrera marble tiles, which we put close together without any space savers; then we didn’t have to use grout and could create a more seamless surface.

Overall I love this technique and our coffee table is just gorgeous!

More info and pics available here:

http://christonium.com/HomeProject/building-wooden-coffee-table-with-marble-tiles

Thanks so much for your time!

Linn

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

table 4

table 2

table 3

table 5

table 1

It’s Not Cedar

Cedar is used in many different projects in woodworking. There are humidors and cigar boxes made of Spanish cedar, closets and blanket chests lined with Eastern red cedar, and even your carpenter’s pencil is more likely than not made of incense cedar. There is one small problem, however; none of these commercial woods are, in fact, cedar.

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Mahogany Credenza

This reader-submitted project is proof once again that you don’t always need to know what wood you’re using for it to turn out beautifully.

Thought you might appreciate this credenza I made to hold books for my wife. It’s constructed from curly Mahogany with a heavily figured bird’s eye Maple top, accents and carved handles. The veneer on the door fronts is a mystery wood I acquired while dealing in wood veneers, that has an incredible curly, lustrous look with black veins.

- Kirby Gaal

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Click here to send it in.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Mahogany Credenza

Up in Smoke: Kenya’s Charcoal Industry

You may have read my recent blog post about woodcarving traditions carried on by Kamba tribesmen in Kenya. I’ll call that the highlight of my “wood-related” African travelog.

There was a lowlight, too: charcoal production. Its carbonized and troubling evidence was stacked in bags along the highways wherever we went.

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Still Skidding

Who knew there were so many uses for pallets? You do, and the comments prove it.

Who knew there were so many uses for pallets? You do, and the comments prove it.

What a nice response we’ve had from you folks to our recent blog post about turning skids into usable lumber (“Skid Row”). Looks like we tapped into a good topic here. Keep your comments and suggestions coming in, please!

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus lately from the blog to get a big tool review ready for the January print issue of the magazine. And, aside from a lot of heavy lifting to hit that deadline, it’s added a third floor to my growing tower of skids outside the shop. Looks like it’s time to start cutting some of them up and figuring out what to build…

In that regard, I thought it might be fun to tally up all the many ways you have commented that you use skid lumber. Hopefully you’ll give the rest of us some good ideas for turning pallets into projects:

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Yellowstone Hotel Shares Marquetry on Grand Scale

1930s cartography, with woodworking panache!

1930s cartography, with woodworking panache!

If Yellowstone National Park is on your short list of future vacation destinations, be sure to stop and see Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the park’s northwest corner. It’s a wonderful vintage building in its own right, but the hotel also contains a remarkable example of marquetry you won’t want to miss! I stumbled on it almost by accident while staying there for a night last summer.

On the wall of the hotel’s lounge, just off the main lobby, there’s a huge map of the United States made almost entirely of wood. Designed and assembled in 1937 by Robert C. Reamer and W. H. Fay, the map measures 17 ft. 10 in. wide by 10 ft. 4 in. tall. It contains 15 types of wood from nine countries: zebrawood (Africa), lacewood and Oriental (sic) wood (Australia), Brazilian rosewood, satinwood (Central America), East Indian rosewood, gray and white harewood (England), English oak, Honduras mahogany, teak (India), as well as slash and straight-grained walnut, maple and burl redwood from the United States.

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