Tag Archives: coffeetables

Kai Table

Designed by Naoki Hirakoso and Takamitsu Kitahara, the Kai Table has multiple internal compartments, but with the twist that each of them takes the form of a hidden compartment as seen on other furniture.

I’ve always been a sucker for hidden compartments, and although the location of the compartments are quite obvious given the size of the piece, it still presses all the right buttons for me.

Pinball Coffee Table

When I first saw the Pinball coffee table back in 2006, I thought it looked cool (colored lights shining up on people’s faces always brings a warmth to the heart of this scifi geek.), but at the same time, I couldn’t imagine actually having one.

A couple of years ago, I went to Shorty’s in Seattle. This bar has booths where the table has a lit pinball playfield in it, just like the pinball coffee table. (In fact, Shorty’s was the inspiration for the coffee table.) Suddenly, I thought that pinball coffee tables were actually feasible!

I talked to some friends about it, but they’re all against the idea. As Ming put it, “It would look like a kid’s room.” It’s hard to really argue with her, when you see Ed Cheung’s table in the living room.

I’m not criticizing the build, but I guess the idea. (Even though, I still kind of want one. Especially if it remained playable.) It’s a party piece, but not everyday piece. That’s what I’m saying.

Crappy Coffee Table Concluded

So we got a real coffee table of Craigslist for free. It’s nice, much better than this thing. I still went ahead and made the table though. There was no real reason not to, since we can find something to use it for. I give it a C in high school shop. I talked to my dad, and put it together with pocket screws using a Kreg Jig Jr kit. I tried using the right angle clamp, but I never got it to work. Whenever I’d lock it down, it would pull out of the pocket hole just enough to slide down, destroying the flat inner surface so you couldn’t put it back in the same hole. (My dad gets the clamp to work, but I never did.) If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten just a normal corner clamp.

I don’t really like it, but I guess it’s okay for being made out of scraps. I just wish I paid more attention when put the pocket holes in.

It’s heavy, and it’s square. I’ll give it that.

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Crappy Coffee Table

A couple of months ago Ming and I decided redo the closet in the bedroom, since it was falling apart. We replaced the rod, and was going to replace the bent shelf with a new shelf long shelf, and then add some side shelves. So we went down to Home Depot and bought one of those crappy particle board covered in white melamine. Unfortunately, we had the guy cut the side shelves an inch too narrow, and left the long board way too wide. (Lesson: Always bring a ruler, and know exactly how big you’re talking about.)

While we were able to hack together something to use side shelves, we were left with three unused side shelves and long shelf. Since we need a better coffee table than the one we’re using, we decided to knock together one from the failed closet attempt. I think the only parts I’m going to need is a saw (probably will by a handsaw since this isn’t really worth buying a jig for), and probably a four half inch square by 18 inch long blocks so that I have something to screw into. Maybe, I’ll need another two solid blocks that are 23 inches long for the back as well. Maybe even four more 23.5 inches long to run along the top too.

While I like the idea of building a table, this is going to look so horrible, it’s not even funny. Wood screws right through the sides, chipped melamine, and peeling edge tape. It’s going to pretty embarrassing. So why am I posting about this? I don’t know. I’m stupid I guess.

Well, maybe it won’t look that bad.

Sketch Up Model

LED Tables

Alex Schlegel‘s Day Table uses a photoresistor located in one corner, and eight ShiftBars (for a total of 24 channels) connected to an Arduino to play back the sunlight that fell on the table during the course of the day.

Macetech built this table to demo their shiftbrite RGB LEDs and a Seeeduino. It’s a 9 x 9 grid, but since each LED has its own controller, the cost quickly climbs.

While not a table, Dave Clausen‘s LED Cylinder is a good resource for discussing how to wire up set of addressable RGB LEDs, along with some good resources to parts and the like.

Recently I’ve been thinking about a LED displays. Originally, I was thinking about a full 640 x 480 display, but after doing the math, that idea quickly shrank to a more manageable 32 x 24 display. While part of me thinks that having one of these tables would be interesting, I can’t help but think that in reality they’d just be ugly and too bright.

I started to think about LED displays because my “coffee table” (It’s actually more an end table.) has a glass top and holes cut out in the back for electrical cables to pass through. What I really want is a multitouch display like either of these two guys are building. However, a multitouch is still pretty hacky and more DIY than I want right now. I like the idea of owning one of these tables, I just don’t want to build it.