One of my sons is making a coffee table 18" tall, 32" wide
and 48" long. The catch on his idea is that he wants it to
be 4 inches thick - in black walnut! When I COULD get
Claro Walnut in the size and thickness "we" now need, HE
had a completely different design in mind - and in a light
wood. I'll skip the "Oh, and I want an inset box in the top"
for another time.
So - I had a couple of sheets of 3/4" black walnut ply -
both faces with "edge joined, bookmatched boards"
look. (This stuff is going for $182 a sheet around here)
To get the the thickness, I suggested making three torsion
boxes with the black walnut ply for the skins, poplar between
Making mitered corners torsion boxes is a bit beyond his
furntiure making skills level - and probably mine as well.
We'd do a normal torsion box for the top and leave the
outside face of the sides long (see ASCII diagram belOW)
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3/4 x 3/4 black walnut to cover the ends of the ply that
showed and a black walnut face frame to hide the sides
and it'd look pretty much like it was solid walnut - almost.
If we butt joined the face frame parts, end grain would be
showing somewhere. THAT was not acceptable to either
Now had we made the sides and top torsion boxes ALL four
inches thick life would've been much easier. Alas, since
the underside of the top would only be seen if you layed
on the floor and looked up - and to save ME from having to
use part of another sheet of the $182 a sheet, Good Walnut
Ply, we went with a piece of quarter inch baltic birch ply for
the bottom of the top torsion box. That missing 1/2" would
come back to bite us in the ass later - which is what my posts
to alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking is about.
You see, when you go to miter the corners of two boards
which are NOT the same width, the miter angle is NOT 45
degrees on both boards. Hell, it isn't 45 degrees on either
Now, were it my decision, I'd go with 4" wide boards for
the face frame, cut them at 45 degrees and be done
with it. No one's going to be the wiser so what the hell.
"But then you'd feel a lip where the bottom of the face
frame and the bottom of the top torsion box meet. And
besides, I've already ripped the top face frame parts to
3 1/2" and the sides parts to 4". I don't want a lip and
I don't want to go get more walnut boards. Let's JUST
figure out what the miter angle (sic) is for what we've
THAT is the subject of the posts to a.b.p.w.
(the guy with a son who has expensive taste and very
specific ideas for what his "piece" should look like)