The Ginger Jar Coffee Table

I’d like to talk a bit about the coffee table I just made.  My wife had shown me some pictures of coffee tables she liked of Maple and walnut coffee table detail of the layerssimilar design.  What intrigued me was the similarity of the leg profile to the shape of a vase that we got from my mother.  It is a basic ginger jar shape.  I’ve seen it a lot in Chinese designs.  We have another piece in the same room that I had made recently that was figured maple so we decided to go with that.  The problem with figured maple is that it can be a bit chaotic or busy especially in a 3’x4’ coffee table top.  I was lucky to find a piece of soft maple that had a very gentle figure in it.  I sawed it into veneer and book matched it for the main center part of the top of the coffee table.  The only maple that was thick enough for the legs they carry at our lumber yard, Beavertooth Oak, was Eastern hard maple.  I was fortunate to find two big, wide, thick boards that looked like they came from the same log and boy did they have some nice figure!  For the lay person, “figure” in wood means a wavy pattern in the grain that gives it a three dimensional quality.  So I used that for the legs and for a 3’ wide frame around the top of the coffee table.  So while the grain was pretty intense, none of the pieces were more than 3” wide.  I am very happy with how the piece turned out.

For more photos of the coffee table go to the furniture section of the website and look for maple and walnut coffee table.