Rebel Coffee Table, Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D., 2020

“Rebel Coffee Table” – Star Wars-inspired table

Star Wars-inspired coffee table with mahogany rebel inlay into padauk and bloodwood, with walnut/cherry base, and Tatooine drawer fronts.


This is a little coffee table for our lair, which has also become my “office” when I’m working from home after lab work. My goals were 1) design it with a smaller footprint than my crappy old table. This is a little room. 2) have a slider for quick access and stowing of keyboard/mouse. 3) cover my PC tower, which I wanted more accessible from my futon. I intentionally made it asymmetrical to reduce size, though I can easily move the top to be symmetrical if I want in the future. The left overhang will double as a mount for an adjustable arm/second monitor I can swing out of the way when not working. And 4) have a touch of geek to it, which ended up being more than a touch 😂.


The top is padauk and bloodwood, inlayed by hand with African mahogany Rebel insignia. The legs are walnut firewood I milled myself. The rest of the base is cherry. The drawer fronts were scrollsawed from purpleheart, chakte viga, padauk, bloodwood, and maple.
Pardon the poor pics. It’s a dark basement. And I ain’t hauling this thing upstairs to photograph. lol

Walnut Side Table

Walnut Reading Nook Side Table

This week we decided to set up a reading nook for @tamarynart in the basement (which will eventually be curtained off). I threw together this little table to go next to her new chair. The top is a walnut log I got for free down the road a few years ago (cut for power lines) and the legs are a spalted white oak log I picked up from the in-laws yard in NC last year. I had zero designs making this and built it on the fly, guided by that gorgeous feathering after I cut the log in half. I’m pretty happy with it for having essentially started as 100% firewood!

Walnut & Cherry Seed Box

Walnut & Cherry Seed Box, 2020

Seed storage box!

I’ve been slowly accumulating garden seeds, both leftovers from this spring, and harvested seeds (for example, I ferment a couple tomatoes every year to collect for next year). I had a large dusty ziplock of them just sitting in my shop and decided they needed to go into a dark, dry box in our basement pantry. This was a great excuse to use up some cherry logs I got from my boss, which are completely filled with bug holes and not very usable for most things. But they’re perfect for something that will be hidden for ~363 days a year and only be seen by me. So why did I waste time on that power-carved walnut leaf top? Because I’ll still see it once a year. Also, I wanted to practice cutting some dovetails. I also through some dry rice in there as a desiccant.

Momo Avatar Wooden Art

“Momo,” Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D., 2020

“Momo”, 2020, wood intarsia, no paint/stain, except the eyes.

My niece @dorky_artista recently convinced me to watch “Avatar: the Last Airbender”. I had already been considering it since I’m a huge Dave Filoni fan (Clone Wars, Rebels, now head of Lucasfilm animation, and was involved in Mandalorian), who got his start with Avatar.

Let me just say that, despite being a show “for kids”, it really lived up to the hype in terms of superb emotional storytelling and character development. I became an instant fan. Such memorable characters!

As I was watching I randomly had the thought “I have to make Momo for my niece!”. I didn’t even initially intend for it to be a birthday present. It was gonna be a “just because I love you present”. But I saw her bday coming up, and thought “perfect!!”.

Then as I designed it I thought “this is too cute. I have to make a matching one for me too.” So I made two of them. 😂

Made from holly, maple, walnut, ebony, yew, elm, and a cherry background. @chestnutproducts Spirit stains for the irises.