Third Commission - Boomerang Coffee Table

Third Commission - Boomerang Coffee Table

This commission came to me in December 2022, and the client was kind enough to wait for the final design to be produced during the following summer. The conceptual discussion centered on a mid-century to 70's design aesthetic with at least one table surface. The dimensions were based on the client's current living room furnishings to ensure the table would not impede movement. The latter point also informed the boomerang legs which are pulled in to allow the foot to easily swing around vs. a corner leg (the client's dog also approves). The white melamine tops were made of salvage material, saving some cost and diverting it from a landfill. Scroll to the bottom for more photos and design info!


The coffee table measures 42" l x 18" w x 18" h. The frame of the table is cherry with the boomerang legs being 4/4 and the banding around the tops 6/4. The white melamine is roughly 13/16" thick. In order to appropriately support the table surfaces, the cherry banding is cut to an L shape with a ledge protruding under the melamine to provide more gluing surface and a more substantial way to transfer loads to the legs. I started by having the melamine about 1/16" below the cherry and then slowly chiseled away the excess wood to create a flush surface. This allowed for variance in the depth of the banding cuts so that the edges of the melamine were never exposed. The material is quite durable and easy to clean, but is fragile at the cut edges.

I used my newly made tapering jig to give the legs a nice profile. The boomerang joint is a half lap with a pair of oak dowels for aesthetic and strength. I did my best to fill in any gaps with a sawdust and wood glue mix, but it came out a bit darker than expected. In any event, it looks much better than if I had left the little gaps around here and there.

The lower shelf is attached to the legs by four hex-head machine screws into threaded inserts while the upper top rests on a series of shaped supports that are higher in the middle, giving the top a floating look. These supports also protrude past the lap joint with a slight router/sanded curvature on the bottom to go with the treatment of the rest of the table. The supports connect to the legs with exposed fasteners and the top is secured to the supports with concealed fasteners from below.

I ran into some issues with the melamine, namely the hole I blew through the top when trying to place the threaded inserts. The drill grabbed and pushed past my taped on depth mark, punching out of the top. After a bit of frustration, I changed my approach to the threaded inserts and instead cut the support pieces in half and embedded them in the top chunk which was then glued to the underside of the table top. To correct the hole, I routered out a 1/4" and purchased some new 1/4" melamine to set inside. This took way longer than expected, but I am pleased with the results, which minimized any additional waste that completely redoing the top would incur. 


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