Jeff Segal Cabinetmaker - Handmade furniture in the Arts and Crafts tradition

Elm coffee table

Elm coffee table - three-quarters viewElm coffee table - corner detailElm coffee table - corner dovetail joint

Elm coffee table - central dovetailsElm coffee table - side view with drawer extendedElm coffee table - three-quarters view with drawer extended

Elm coffee table - drawer dovetailsElm coffee table - drawer dividers

Glass-topped coffee table in solid Scottish elm with English sycamore drawers

The clients for this commission wanted both a practical coffee table and a showcase for small decorative objects.

The whole design is guided by the Arts and Crafts principle of honesty in construction: nothing is concealed and everything is strictly functional. The three-tiered frame acts as a skeleton for the two big drawers, with their compartments for collectibles, and when the drawers are slid out you can see right through the structure.

Arts and Crafts design touches include the big exposed dovetail joints on the top of the table and the fine dovetails in the drawers.

Apart from the glass panels sunk into the top, every single element is built from solid, sustainable British hardwood: native wych elm (Ulmus glabra) for the frame and legs, grown in Dumfries and Galloway, and naturalised English sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) for the drawers.

Have a look at my construction diary to see how the piece was made.

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