Make a Modern Cherry Table Using the CNC Router

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Cutting out furniture components is a typical job for an industrial CNC machine, and you can put your home shop version to work in the same way!

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This table project makes good use of the CNC router's ability to cut curved lines accurately with perfect repeatability and to drill perfectly placed holes. This table is designed to be made with 1-3/4" stock, but could be made with thinner material if you'd like. But one warning: if you choose to go all the way down to 3/4" stock, you will need to add an apron between the legs or the table will be too flimsy.

There are free downloadable .crv and .tap files to use with your CNC router. The table shown here uses the 16"-long legs, but there is a file to make 19-1/4" legs (an appropriate height for an end table) available, too.

As I tested the programming, I tried out an expensive up-spiral bit to do the cutting on the table components, but was pleased to find that a typical 1/2"-diameter straight bit was actually better for this task. I can't really explain it.

I held the parts in place using double-sided carpet tape in addition to the deck clamps. It worked well, even though there was obviously a good deal of force being applied to the parts as they were being cut.

We used solid cherry lumber for this table, but it would look great in other species, even softwood. I think a clear pine version of the table would be stunning.

If you don't own a CNC router, the downloadable PDF drawings will allow you to make the table with a standard set of shop tools. If you are going to make a few of them, it would be a good idea to make templates for each component. That way, you could template route them using a handheld router.

I used a 1/2" roundover bit to shape the edges of the legs, giving them a smooth, modern look. The legs of the table are attached to the tabletop with both a dowel and a screw in each leg. They are also secured with glue. At 1-3/4" thick, the top of the leg provides a good bit of glue surface.

After the parts were made, I sanded them to 180-grit and assembled the table. A final sanding at 200-grit and then a few coats of shellac from an aerosol can were just the ticket. If your table will get some hard use, a final top coat of wipe-on polyurethane is my recommendation.

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Make sure you've checked out our other Small-shop CNC Routing articles:

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