Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 166, June 2019Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodworking!
By John Koenig
Saint Charles, MO

Shortly before my daughter was due to be born, I solicited friends and family to see if anyone wanted to try and squeeze one last commission piece in while I had abundant free time. I immediately received a response from a friend of my wife saying she wanted a "puzzle table." My first response was, "Great! Now, what is it?"

The design I came up with was based on the basic functionality she needed and an image of a similar concept online. The table needed to have an option to fold open and closed so that a partially finished puzzle could be safely concealed. A set of drawers were a must. I set to work and here's what I came up with!

Just days before, I had come across a great supply of old oak barn beams. I was able to find one that was about seven feet long and 2.5" thick' after surfacing, I'd be able to get 2.25" square legs out of that beam. These were then tapered to lighten the look.

This table was sized to 18" tall at the top of the aprons and 35.5" square; this is the maximum width allowable to ensure the tops will fold over, but it also allows up to a 1,500 piece puzzle. The aprons are 3/4" oak; my original intent was to create continuous grain aprons; unfortunately, I didn't account for kerfing when removing the drawer front sections, so I had to cut new drawer fronts for a cleaner, tighter fit.

The inside shelf is half inch prefinished birch plywood which rests in a dado cut into the aprons; the total depth between the top of the apron and the plywood is 3/8". The top is 3/4" oak as well, attached with strap hinges. These are the only hinges that will allow the top to completely fold over, and they must be attached to the apron and top at 90 degrees when closed.

My wife barely let me take it from the house; I'm currently building hers as I write this.

Below are pictures of another puzzle table I made with an oak finish:

John can be reached by email at dibwoodworkingllc@gmail.com. You can also visit his website at DIBWoodworking.

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