For my Year 12 major project I wanted to design and build a coffee table that would be placed in the lounge room of my home. The table will store board games and other entertainment devices.
To add a unique feature to the design, I used two wooden slabs with the natural edge facing inwards, and then poured resin to fill in the gaps for the tabletop. My aim for the project was to challenge myself and create something visually interesting.
I reviewed a number of coffee tables that are presently on the market and then sketched some designs. I then used Onshape to develop my idea.
In the early stages of production, I created prototypes of all the joints I planned to use. It was a big (and important) learning curve for me as I had not completed Stage 5 Industrial Studies. Creating all the mortise and tenon joins for the sides of my coffee table took a long time!
I learned a lot about the importance of ensuring everything was perfectly smooth. I took my platforms and back panels to Branches (a local timber shop) to use their flatbed sander to get the desired finish.
Sourcing my tabletop took some time as I had a very specific idea about what I wanted, yet had to be mindful of budget constraints.
It was so rewarding to glue my table together; I didn’t have too many issues as I made sure everything fitted during dry assembly.
Pouring the resin was an awesome (and challenging) experience. It required a lot of preparation and sanding to create and set up the mould, but the final result made it all worthwhile.
I used the router to take down the profile of the timber and, although there were some imperfections, I think it was a good result for a first attempt.
Attaching the tabletop to the coffee table was exciting as it was the first time the project really looked complete. I attached the tabletop using one heavy-duty screw in each corner of the top side rails, as well as five smaller screws lining the top rails.
Installing my first drawer handle was difficult as the drawer face had bowed. To counter this, I screwed the drawer face from the inside to straighten the timber.
I am very happy with the final result. I went over budget, but needed to do so as I wanted a quality piece of furniture. I am really satisfied with the resin component and believe I produced the best possible table that I could.