Pivot-top Game/Coffee Table

This contemporary game/coffee table is one of the best looking pieces we have seen in a long time. Although we can only describe them to you, the beautiful colors in the contrasting Carpathian elm and white ash burl game board faces (available from Constantine’s; see Bill of Materials) are striking indeed.
The coffee table is unique in that its pivoting top actually makes it two tables in one. The opposite side of the top is a plain ash veneer, also available from Constantine’s. The design of the table incorporates an interesting split-turning technique which will be explained later.

Begin by making the veneered top (parts А, В, C, D, and E). Since the game board veneer is quite wavy, it must first be flattened before using. To flatten it you’ll need to make a simple press from four pieces of 34 in. thick particle board, each piece measuring 2 feet wide and 4 feet long. A single 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of 3/4 in particle board will provide enough material for the four pieces.
In order to provide even clamping pressure across the width of the particle board, you’ll also need to make a dozen caul cleats. The caul cleats we will use here are simply 2 foot long 2 x 4’s on edge, with the bottom edge shaped into a gentle curve (see Fig. 1). To scribe the curve, we found that a metal yardstick works well as it’s flexible enough to bend into a smooth curve. After scribing the curve with a pencil, a band saw is used to cut it to shape.

part 2.

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