Coopered Cafe Table

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Ah, Paris in the spring. A stroll along the Seine followed by a warm baguette and a cup of coffee at a sidewalk café. While it won’t get you to France, this delightful, counter-height café table will help you simulate that experience in your own home. Its 30" diameter top is just right for breakfast for four without taking up too much of your outdoor space. The tapered cylinder that makes up the base provides a solid anchor against windy days and presents an excellent opportunity for you to try your hand at coopering as you bevel the staves from which it is made. After gluing the staves together, rout the base round using a fixture that serves as a large lathe. Then use the same fixture for routing a series of V-grooves to add a certain je ne sais quoi. While I made my table from black locust, a tough wood that lasts practically forever outside, other weather-resistant species such as white oak would also be appropriate. (See page 54 for more information about black locust.)

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