Making the Balance Coffee Table

This piece started out as a sketch when I was exploring concepts for pieces for my furniture range. I adjusted dimensions quite a bit before finalising the design. The first step to make this was to cut 72+ strips on the bandsaw. I would plane an edge of the cedar stock, then cut a strip then plane an edge and so on. This meant I would always have one planed face to reference on the bandsaw fence and the planner bed to thickness the strips to size. Since cedar has knots I did my best to avoid them but ended up doing more strips to account for some breakages.

Then I made a jig for bending the strips. Here I had to plan where the clamps where going. Next was to coat six strips with glue using a roller to spread it evenly. I placed the six strips in a pile and clamped them at the apex of of the jig, bending and clamping around. I repeated this process twelve times.

Once all the curves were done I surface planed one face and thicknessed the other. I then made the support piece that attaches the base to the top. Gluing up the all the curves went remarkably smoothly. I laid them together upside down, with clamps to hold them flush whilst I clamped them together. The support went in the middle and was glued together in this process.

After the glue was dry I trimmed the ends to rough length with a handsaw. I had to make a jig for trimming the ends to final length. The support was the only flat surface to reference against. Using the jig I trimmed the ends with my router. Glue clean up and sanding followed. Next I cut the curve on the curve which I marked out by bending a long metal ruler in an arc from the base angling in towards the support. I made the cuts using a jigsaw and scraping clean.

The top was relatively straight forward. The ends I used a jig and router to cut the clean curve. I also used the router to cut the recess in the top to house the support. After masking off the curve I glued it to the top just using gravity. If I was to do this again I would illicit someone’s help to get something heavy on to the top. Finally it was time to sand and finish.