Nate’s Walnut Coffee Table

This table was the biggest project during my first year of studying furniture design at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The design brief required us to build a table of any kind that had a drawer, was smaller than 6 sq ft, and was under a certain material allowance. The design of this table was appropriated from a Finn Juhl writing table from the 1940s. I was really interested in Danish Modern furniture at the time and was immediately drawn to the simple form and lightness of Juhl’s table.

The rails were cut with a round shoulder to fit the diameter of the turned legs perfectly. Slip tenons were used to assemble most joints, with sliding dovetails rounding out the remainder of the joinery. The top is bookmatched walnut veneer on MDF. The drawer I suspect is of butternut and it rides on full extension maple drawer slides. The lining of the drawer was hand printed and stitched by my wonderful friend, Tamsin, who is studying textiles at Sheridan.

This was an extremely rewarding project as I learned a lot about my design inclinations as well as many technical abilities needed to realize these designs. I’m very interested to hear people’s thoughts about my work. All studio photos were taken by me.


  1. Gil McNeill June 19, 2013

    Nate…That’s a good looking table. Do you have a reference for how you did the drawer slides? I have been wanting to do some self-made slides. Great work!

  2. Claude Stewart June 19, 2013


  3. Beautiful Nate! Very retro! I love it!!

  4. Josh Wixom June 19, 2013

    Nate, this is absolutely fantastic! I like the drawer liner too. Keep up the good work.

  5. Cal Deobald June 19, 2013

    Nate. That’s a beautiful piece. I’m curious about your choice to go with a veneered top in a piece that’s otherwise made of solid wood. Was this to stay within the cost/material confines of the assignment?

    • I initially was wanting the whole piece to be made out of solid but material restrictions on the project made it impractical. I’m not a big fan of veneer for large surfaces but, that being said, it was a great opportunity to practice my veneering skills.

  6. Mike Hill June 19, 2013

    A real showpiece. Love it. Nice photo work as well.

  7. Riley June 19, 2013

    Very elegant, I Love it. Great job

  8. Dave June 20, 2013

    Seems simple yet elegant. Nice work.

  9. Ross June 21, 2013

    Lovely work, Nate. The top book match is especially nice.

  10. Peter June 23, 2013

    Nate, this is a beautiful piece. I’m curious how you achieved the rounded angled edges on the top, using veneer. It all looks rather seamless. Any tips? It looks great!

Leave a reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Image Map