derekcohen

Needlework Table

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New build. I would like to share the design to date. At this stage it is open to modifications. I am happy to hear your thoughts ... after all, that is the point of these builds - to create discussion.

So, a needlework table .. now you know my secret passion J


The brief is that the needlework table is to replace the table in the family room, where it will do duel duty for my wife and be used as a side table for coffee cups, etc. I built the existing table 30 years ago as an extension for our dining room table, and it was used until recently in the entrance hall. Now I plan to recycle the legs into a country style dining room table for my son ...


Family-Room1.jpg

This table is too high to be used as a side table. The new table will reach the underside of its rails, about the same height as the armchair arm rests. It will be as wide as the existing table ...

The planned needlework table. The top is 850mm wide. There is a 10mm overhang front and rear, and 100mm at each side. 
...

1.jpg

The elevation view looks a little plain at this stage, but it is a canvas, and the intention is to inlay some bright colours later on. The legs actually splay more than they appear here as they do so 45 degrees/diagonally rather than coplanar to the front and rear. 

The front of the table is bowed and has 3 drawers. Since this is a needlework table, where the contents need to be accessible. Two of the drawers will pivot from the outer sides. This will enable all drawers to be open at the same time.

The carcase is to be Hard Maple, as will be the side drawers. The centre drawer will be the same wood as the table top, but I am not decided on this yet. Possibly figured Jarrah as it will be a good contrast to bright inlay. 

The underside of the drawers is coved to reduce the apparent height.

1-1.jpg

The plan of the table - It looks like it needs "slimming down" in this picture, but it may be the angle at which the shot was taken ...

2.jpg

Of note, the legs are round and tapered with the splay. Mortice-and-tenon joinery.

Some specs of the construction ...

3.jpg

Thoughts?

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Stacked pivoting drawers (and no middle drawer) was my first model ...

5.jpg

I moved on from this as it looked boring.

mmmm .... I ran this past my wife. She prefers this version!

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I'll jump in, like the design from your first post better, the middle drawer does add to the look. Apologies to your wife.

Quick question, with the bowed front, how do you plan to handle the drawer fronts? I saw you mentioned inlays, I like that. You also mentioned the wood might vary in the middle drawer in comparison to the side drawers.

Are you going to do bent lamination or are you cutting them from thicker stock? I would assume it would be more predictible to cut from thicker stock. Either way you could get a very interesting look with the matching grain pattern developed from either of those approaches if you decide to use the same wood for all the drawer fronts. 

Or, with the front drawer fronts, you could bookmatch the pivoting drawers and go with something different like you were planning for the middle drawer front. 

Bottomline is there are a few ways that you could do some interesting things with those drawer fronts. 

I'm very interested in how you handle the pivoting drawers, I assume you'll likely use a knife hinge and have them function just like a door.

I like the leg design and the heavy underside bevel for the top.

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So here's my pitch, but with the caveat that you are not building this for me so what I think matters very little.  

There are lots of design rules, but only one I consider inviolable:  Form follows function.

I suggest asking your wife to set out all the tools and supplies that she would like to store and divide these into 'drawer groups' for you.  Then I suggest mocking up various size/shape drawers out of cardboard and seeing what will fit.  This will give you a picture of what kind and number of drawers will work.  There might be some iterations on this process wherein your wife agrees to store less in the table or vice versa.

Once I had the storage needs met then I would try to design as pretty as possible around those constraints.  

I think you will find that quarter circle drawers actually store less than their size would suggest, and the narrow center drawer might not even be suitable for spools of thread.

 

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What my wife wants is frankly near-impossible. She wants a table she can use for storing needlework items. But it must also look like a casual side table. 

There is nothing exciting about a needlework table if you look at examples on the web. Generally a dumpy box. I find myself coming up with ideas to spice it up, such as the drawers, but I it feels like a collection of parts, and not an integrated whole. What is really needed is a box for her needlework, and a table for the family room.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Would a small chest of drawers or a small cabinet work with your decor?  

Or'like you suggest, perhaps divide and conquer with a small wheeled cart for the needlework which would in turn be stored in a closet when not in use?  Then the occaisional table could be just a table.  In which case I agree, the 3 drawer design is better.

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I like the first sketch beterr, too.  how about a craving or medallion between the drawers?

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5 hours ago, derekcohen said:

What my wife wants is frankly near-impossible.

Is she related to my wife? sounds like a challenge to me and that's what us woodworkers do, make things that seem impossible to others, you got this and whatever way you make it i'm sure she's going to love it

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