A Trio of Round-Top Tables

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CNC joinery and plywood combined

As CNC routers have found their way into small shops across the country, makers have been exploring how best to use their strengths to create beautiful and useful objects. While these machines can easily be used to cut solid wood parts to incorporate into traditional designs, they have also spawned a unique way of making entire pieces of furniture using plywood and slotted joinery. For this inaugural Digital Woodworking department offering, I designed a trio of three occasional tables that make use of this CNC-centric way of working. The three table heights work well beside a wide variety of chairs and sofas, and can also serve nicely as plant stands.

Make the parts from Baltic birch plywood, using 1" (25mm) for the legs and 1/2" (12mm) for the tops. One of the advantages of using this material is that you can simply rout and sand the edges to finish them rather than applying edgebanding. The uniform, void-free core looks good and finishes well. I added plastic laminate to the tops of my tables for carefree use, but you could just as easily finish the plywood to match the legs.

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