Sunny’s Sofa

Posted By Jueri Svjagintsev on Aug 3, 2013

Actually, it's more of a divan than a sofa, and the first time I've built a sofa in all my years of woodworking.

Long ago I had a memorable art teacher in San Antonio and her daughter asked me if I could build a sofa for her new futon mattress. This was to be low budget, but I reckon I had a debt of gratitude and friendliness to take into account so I scoured the shop for parts from old projects, left over materials, and other bits and pieces. The design intent was to be "Moroccan" but it seems to have migrated toward Greece and Rome.

I used coved maple parts left over from a production run of a toy made for Try Out Toys , a left over sheet of purpleheart veneer, escutcheons from antique furniture, Jatoba scraps and so on. As with most one-off work there are a number of things I'd change if i had an opportunity to make another one Anyway, here are the photos:

The CAD drawing:
This is designed to have a lot of storage under the mattress. I'd like to do a legged version and make the ends more like columns rather than a stretched out field of coves. Weird base molding, but it came out nice.



The lathe! I love the lathe, except everything turns out round. You have to warm up to it if you haven't used it in a while. These are end caps for the sofa cylinders, made of Jatoba.


On the Lathe

Parts, and a lot of sanding, a lot.




Mara is using shellac as a stain/sealer. Some of the maple went to a dark burnt umber, the only other stain was the amber shellac.



The top coat is shot, now to check for defects and shoot another.


Sunny, lacquer

The only color to be left is the sofa covering.




That long maple board between the columns has a giant cove. Originally I was going to apply some left over appliques from the credenza job and some beaded tassles coming out of the jatoba discs, but it was not to be. The actual mattress is about twice the thickness in this photo below.

Oh, and friends, look who gets to lounge on this, my art teachers grandaughter


Sunny done




  1. I LOVE it!  Congatulations on a fantastic piece.

  2. Thanks Bill! I’d love to develop this further.

  3. Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    tell you I truly enjoy reading your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over
    the same subjects? Appreciate it!

  4. November 21, 2009This is an great table with those Ebony inlays. I was woinrendg though how you did the inlays. I don’t have a plunge base for my router yet, is it even possible to do inlays with out that set up for your router? If there is i would like to know the process. And even the process for doing inlays with the plunge base. Beings I will be getting one soon. I hope.

  5. Carlos, the black edgings are wood stained with India Ink and they weren’t inlaid, they were merely applied and the blond wood was fitted between the black framing. So, no router was used.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *