Building Your Very Own Magical Floating Table
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If you need a new table to display some of your valuables for your house or flat, instead of buying one, why not make your own? Better than that, how about making a gravity-defying floating one?
Does this sound interesting? Then follow this short guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Hooked eye screws
- Plastic cabling/string
- Wooden circular tabletops (about 11.8-inch/300mm diameter)
- Wooden dowels
- Double-edged pull saw
- Metal files
- Wood glue
- Orbital sander
- Clear varnish
Step 1: Sketch out your table
The first step is to grab a good old pencil and some paper and sketch out the rough design for your floating table. You can let your cat help (if you have one), or not.
Once happy, we can now begin to build the floating table.
Step 2: Mark up and cut your lumber
With your materials gathered together, grab your lengths of lumber. Transfer them to your table design and mark out the angles to be cut and the lengths needed.
For reference, this table will have a diameter of around 11.8 inches (300mm).
You will need to mark out the different vertical pieces and horizontal pieces needed for the floating table.
With the measurements marked out, take your lengths of timber and clamp them to your workbench. Next, take your hand saw, and cut the timber to size and shape.
Next, connect the pieces together and mark out the joins between the wooden pieces to create joints. Once complete, mark out the centerlines of the wooden points.
You will be joining the wooden lengths using rabbet joints (cutting out small rectangles from the surface to centerline depths of each wooden piece).
Cut the wooden joints as needed using your handsaw.
Once complete, file down and sand down the joints using your metal files and then dry assemble the pieces on your sketch to check dimensions are correct and the joints are well-formed.
If not, adjust accordingly.
Rinse and repeat to make a second wooden piece of the same dimensions.
Step 3: Begin to assemble the table
With the wooden pieces cut out and formed, you can now begin to assemble the table. Apply a small amount of wood glue to each side of the rabbet joint, press the pieces together and clamp to hold them into place.
Leave the wood glue to fully dry.
Once dry, remove the clamps and mark out the very center of each joint. To do this, draw two intersecting diagonal lines.
Drill a hole through the center of the joints, as needed and sand down each side of the drill hole to remove any barbs. Once complete, glue in a suitably sized wooden dowel through each side of the drill hole.
Clean off any excess glue. Rinse and repeat for all other "floating" elements of the table. Next, cut off any excess parts of the dowel so that it sits flush with the main timber -- effectively making a wooden plug.
With that complete, clamp the pieces to your table, and use an orbital sander to clean up all exposed surfaces of the wooden pieces.
Collect the sawdust and mix it with some wood glue to form a thick wooden paste. With the paste, fill any gaps in the wood -- especially the dowel holes.
Leave to dry, and then sand the filled areas with your orbital sander once again.
Step 5: Varnish and treat the wood and prepare the tabletop and base
With the main wooden elements complete, take your wood varnish and cover each exposed surface of the wood with a thin layer using a clean rag.
With that complete, grab your tabletop and base. Sand down the surfaces using your orbital sander, as needed.
Where needed use sandpaper for curved edges. Once complete, apply a layer of varnish to the tabletop and base too.
Step 6: Make the table float
Next, drill holes in the floating elements of the table to receive the cabling to make the table "float". You want three equal spaces along the top edge of each of the "floating" elements.
Take your drilled piece of wood and mark out its dimensions onto one of the wooden circles. Also, mark out the position of the drill holes too.
Drill matching holes in the wooden circle, as needed. Do not drill all the way through.
Once complete, add wooden dowel into each hole and connect the wooden vertical piece to the dowels.
Check the join and ensure that it sits flush, and diagonal elements of the vertical piece match up at the same angle as the beveled edge of the circle.
If not, adjust accordingly and then glue the pieces together. Clean off any excess glue as needed.
Clamp the join, or weigh down the piece from above, until the glue has fully cured.
For the floating parts of the table, drill small holes at the points that the cabling will be connected. Screw in the hook eye screws as needed.
For reference, the two main vertical leaning L-shape pieces of wood will be connected with one short cable and the top and bottom with four longer cables.
Next, mark out matching cable connection points on the tabletop. Drill the holes, and then insert hook eye screws into the holes, as needed.
You will want one in every "corner" of the table top and bottom to connect them together using vertical cables later.
Step 8: Complete the table
Next, take your paper clips and open them up to make wires. You will need about ten of them for this table.
Take lengths of your plastic cable, fold over the ends, and twist a piece of paper clip wire around the ends to form a hook in the cable.
Trim off any excess pieces of plastic tubing below the twisted paper clip wire. Rinse and repeat to make all four cables to make the table.
With the cables ready, you can now complete the final assembly of the floating table. Take one of the lengths of cable and connect the two vertical upstands together.
Next, take the four longer cables and connect them up between the top and bottom of the table. Do this in pairs at diagonals to each other to make the process simpler.
Once all four cables are in place on the top and bottom of the table, it is now complete. Now all you need to do is find somewhere to display your magical floating table.
If you enjoyed this woodworking project, you might like a new challenge. How about making your own handle for a giant razor?