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This is the second glass ball coffee table I have made. My brother does glass blowing as a hobby at his local community arts centre and made me another very cool large glass ball. This one has a very nice wispy-curly smoke pattern.
When I posted my first glass ball table people wondered about the strength of the glass ball. It is hand blown and very thick. The ball is about 10” in diameter and weighs 15 lbs. I’ve estimated that the average wall thickness of ¾”. It is pretty solid.
I developed some sketches for this table and then made a scale model to help me get a better sense of what it would look like.
I did make some changes as I went along. The straight back looked very plane. My son, his girlfriend and my nephew’s girlfriend are all trained artists. So I had my own “artist’s panel” to consult on a better design for the back. We came up with a scalloped design that mirrors the front. As an unintended benefit the table now has a built in cup holder!
I purchased a nice slab of olive wood primarily to use for a chair project that is under way. The olive wood has a nice figure that I was hoping would match the curling smoke pattern of the ball. As well, the slab had a curve to it and fit nicely with the shape of the table top. I resawed the slab and used the two book matched pieces for the top. The olive wood had many cracks in it and I inserted a number of bowties underneath to stabilize it.
The legs and bottom are made from butternut. To keep the focus on the top, ball and overall shape I used a less figured wood for the legs and the bottom, in this case butternut.
Since the ball cantilevers over the front legs the table (without the top installed) is front end heavy. At the back of the table I added a small compartment on the underside filled with about 2 lbs of steel plate to act as a counter weight.
The table has some pretty sharp corners and combined with the glass ball it is definitely not a not a toddler friendly table. At 22” wide x 39” long x 16” high it is a condominium sized table.
I used a light walnut Danish oil to add some colour and sprayed on a few coats of water based gloss urethane.
— Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario
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