I think I skipped a bit when I posted the picture of the laminated tigerwood accent piece. I actually did not start on the fun part right away. The first step is the base box, which set the dimensional precedence for the rest of the build. It will dictate the overall feel of the table and determine the total material requirements. Material wise, I wanted a dark colored wood that contrasts the maple, but I knew that walnut or mahogany would be out of the question in terms of cost. Stains are the answer and I can turn even the cheapest of woods into imitation walnut. Of course I did not cheap out that much and picked up some nice hardwood plywood (oak on the outside).
I originally wanted a big table that will still look good even if I moved to a bigger living-room, but as luck would have it, I made a mistake in my cut and reduced the overall length and width by 2″. This error really helped as the box shape is quite imposing even still. Once the plywood was cut on the table saw, I ventured into unknown territories with joinery. At first, I thought maybe dowel or biscuits, but I did not have much experience and thought them too time consuming. A bit of research at the local Home Depot pointed me to pocket-holes – in particular a Kreg Jig. Although there is more upfront investment with the jig (~$60), the simplicity of it really made building the box a breeze. I know that from a strength perspective it is average at best, but for a box, it will be more than adequate.
Here you can see the base resting on a stand being stained in dark walnut. I used a water-based gel stain for speed of coverage and knowing that I will eventually put a water-based clear lacquer on top.