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The Amish Superior Sofa Server Table- Maple is a beautiful and highly functional addition to any home. This solid maple made table is perfect for keeping condiments, snacks, and drinks close at hand and easily accessible while sitting on the sofa or chair. With a medium dark brown finish called Rich Tobacco, it provides a warm and inviting aesthetic. The superior craftsmanship can be seen in the robust construction, classic design, and attention to detail that make this an excellent choice for any home.
One of the most used pieces of furniture in our home is a \"Sofa Server\", a small table with the leg(s) mounted towards the back so the foot goes under the sofa/couch allowing the top to come back towards you over the cushions. These are not only used in our living room they get relocated to the screen room, up to the loft TV area, out to my wife's cave, to my workshop, the patio and we take one on every RV trip. Although we have several there are never enough and I wanted to add more functionality.
Some 40 years ago my fledgling woodworker dad made five sofa servers to give to each of his semi-adult kids. That Christmas he was so proud when we all unwrapped ours at the same time. We all took them home then used ours topped with a Swanson Salisbury Beef TV Dinner as we caught the newest episode of the Andy Griffith Show. Years later, when Andy retired as Sheriff of Mayberry, so did the sofa servers eventually ending up in attics.
A few years ago, some 4 decades later, I found mine, blew the dust off then positioned it on our couch; placed a mouse pad, a mouse; and a cup of coffee on it and would never want to laptop without one again. In fact, it was so handy I called my siblings to ask if I could have theirs. Much to my chagrin every one of them told a similar story: \"I found it in the attic and now use it every day for laptoping, coffee in the morning, adult beverage after 5 o'clock somewhere etc.\". After a good laugh and some reminiscing the conversations led to \"...the only downfall is the dogs/grand-kids knock over the beverage, the TV remote and whatever else is put on the table...\".
Because these tables are so small, knock-downable and can be made from all sorts of materials these have become my favorite project to build on our RV trips. On one of those trips, while in the Ozark Mountains, I Googled \"Reclaimed Wood Near Me\"; found some nice chunks; stopped by a Home Depot to purchase a few short pieces of copper tubing; went back to the campsite and made the sofa server seen in the images above (the one with the mouse pad, mouse, TV remote and the two copper tubes at bottom).
For the next two months that little table worked great at the couch in our RV for 4:00 AM coffee, lap-topping and then transitioned in the evenings for a twosome to catch, now reruns, of the Andy Griffith Show with all content protected from the wagging tails of two golden retrievers.
On the return trip home we stopped to visit a 92 year old aunt; showed her the table; she liked it; \"loaned\" it to her so she could \"test it\". She loved it, especially the slot for her nightly \"Evan Williams and Lemon on the Rocks\". That was three years ago! :-)
When it was time to pack the RV for this winter-of-22 trip to Gulf Shores, AL, I grabbed an older sofa server along with some templates, a few 18V tools, some hardware and whatever could be stuffed in the RV bins with intentions to build yet another Sofa Server Table implementing even more functionality including the following:
Woodworking is my passion! Can't get enough! Unfortunately that \"problem\" causes me to rattle on a bit too long about the subject. At the same time there are students that fly or drive thousands of miles, spend thousands of dollars and weeks of their precious time to attend woodworking workshops at schools like this or this one or those offered at TheClearing.org, a non-profit folk school I'm fortunate enough to be associated with. Then how does one attempt to approach a subject like \"Build a Rustic Sofa Server from Sinker Cypress considering the spectrum of folks that have clicked on this Instructable
Then welcome to the club!! For the woodworking Geeks there are links to videos documenting every cross-cut, rip, rout, drill, roundover and even about retaining \"rusticity\" during the sanding, varnishing and, for this table, the pour of two-part clear-coat. Hopefully there is enough detail for anyone with the type of tools taken on the RV trip to build a sofa server for themselves. If there is anything left out please please drop a Comment or PM me.
I'll be the first to admit there were many mistakes when building this table. Most were because I had not first drawn a plan or written a CutList and then some resulting from a rushed packing job prior to leaving. If there had been a CutList and Sequence it would have been consulted when packing the truck/RV for this 3-month trip. Just a couple more small tools or a few pieces of pre-cut wood/steel would have made it easier to build, taken less time and with better results. (BTW the 3D drawings you will see later were drawn AFTER this project was complete. I wanted to make sure the same mistakes aren't made the next time.)
Having made the decision this table would be made from some sort of \"reclaimed\" wood located while on the trip the \"hunt\" began. For the next two months we toured the Gulf Coast where, surprising to me, found nothing when Googling \"Reclaimed Wood Near Me\". A \"local\" later explained that hurricanes shred that stuff and send it out to sea. Then, as we turned north, to head back home following the Mississippi River, the searches improved.
Part of the base on a sofa server needs to slide under the sofa. My dad's was all wood and that needed angled wood braces. Instead I use steel \"ballast\". The key to ballast is \"as much weight in a small space mounted as low as possible\". Getting such metal is easy in large cities that have small-order retailers like Metal Supermarkets but none could be found where we were. Another option would have been to order the metal from an online source such as SpeedyMetals.com or OnlineMetals.com but we only stay in a campground for a few days so there is no way to have it delivered. This inability to get pre-sized metal became an issue during the trip but was able to purchase an 18\" long Steel Concrete Form Stake at a Home Depot figuring this could became the \"ballast\".
Things have changed in the 40 years since my dad made his Sofa Servers. Still a very useful piece of furniture there are things that could be done to make it even more functional, the biggest change being the addition of a 2nd \"Tray\" above the main surface. This added tray provides slots for things one might want while sitting at a couch but also includes slots shaped to prevent beverages from getting knocked off or over like stemmed wine glasses. The rest of this Step deals with design considerations and how the reclaimed materials were incorporated into the table.
Now that I had the reclaimed sinker cypress the next step was to measure the existing Sofa Server and then adapt those measurements to the wood just purchased. Since it was too late to measure the couches at home where this table will be used I was able to measure the RV sofa.
After we returned home and the project was completed I brought it into our living room. Turns out it would be almost 5\" too high for that sofa. The video below shows that scenario however, this can easily be rectified by removing the threaded metal tenons from one end of the Post; cut off 5\" in length; re-mount the threaded metal tenon; and away we go. The downside is that table will then no longer be tall enough to clear the cushion in the RV. This has gotten the wheels turning thinking about methods for making Posts adjustable to fit any scenario. Hmmmmm
Height to the underside of the main Tray to clear the RV couch cushion was measured and decided at 20 1/2\". This same dimensions for the table to fit our home living room couch would be 15 1/2\".
\"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder\". I tend to lean towards rustic, for this project, very, very rustic. I wanted this table to reflect that style by retaining the live edge; saw-blade kerf; knots; worm holes; and in this case, the characteristic cavities in this \"pecky\" cypress (caused by fungus) and even several dead bugs. All of the above certainly were challenging especially the upper Tray that had no parallel or perpendicular edges and, again without access to the big tools, but every time I use this table it will remind me of where, when and how it came about.
Woodworking at a State Park campsite is not easy but with help from a previous project, a MikroBench, I started by mounting that workstation on the campsite picnic table.
Mounting a miter saw on a picnic table varies from picnic table to picnic table. I did not want to damage the table so, after removing it from the Bass Pro Outboard Motor cover, the Milwaukee 7 1/4\" 18V Miter Saw was clamped to the MikroBench figuring I'd make all of the miter cuts then remove it before mounting Trays #2 and #3 to that same workstation
The Foot is the lowest portion of the table so the heavier the better. It needed to be wider than the Post it will be attached to and to hold steel Ballast that will get installed in it. One of the 8/4 Sinker Cypress boards met these needs and had a number of character features that would satisfy my \"rustic\" tendencies including: 59ce067264