Mappa Burl Coffee Table

By Warren Snow at Snow Woodworks in Marshall, VA.

The Mappa Burl Coffee Table is an original design.  My objective was to make a piece to best display a stunning slice of mappa burl.  The burl tabletop is the primary element of a modern design that stands on a tripod of curved legs.

Cherry is the secondary wood for this coffee table.  It encircles the tabletop in a waterfall grain pattern.  The legs are also cherry, formed using the bent lamination technique.   I chose a 3-leg base so the table would be more unique, and to insure it would sit wobble-free, even on an uneven floor.  Aluminum inlay provides a subtle border for the tabletop.  Segments of aluminum rod repeat this decorative accent within the legs. The table measures 42” in diameter and stands 20” high.

I wanted a satin (non-glossy) finish with good clarity that would enhance the burl’s figure.  The finishing recipe begins with surface preparation that fills voids within the burl and then sands through successive grits to 220.  Next is a coat of General Finishes Seal-a-Cell, followed by multiple coats of gloss GF Arm-R-Seal.  A careful sanding at 320 grit occurs between coats to obtain a progressively smoother feel at each step.  The final sanding is at 400 grit followed by 2 coats of satin GF Arm-R-Seal.  A foam brush is the applicator-of-choice for the tabletop, while the legs are finished by wiping with terrycloth.  A hand-rubbed coat of microcrystalline wax completes this simple-looking but luxurious finish.

Project Category

WoodworkingTables & Desks

Products Used

  • General Finishes Seal-A-Cell
  • General Finishes Gloss Arm-R-Seal
  • General Finishes Satin Arm-R-Seal
  • Microcrystalline Wax

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