Great Designs in Wood - The Phoebe Table

By Chuck Ray | Posted: 01/30/2013 4:53PM


Chuck Ray, PennState, Associate Professor of Wood Operations Wow. This table is more proof that unique innovations in design can, and frequently will, include wood to make them special. The Phoebe Table is the masterpiece of Mr. Bob Huskey of Saturn Design in Seattle. (Thanks Woodworking Network for sharing this.)

"The Phoebe Table is composed of up to 24 crescent leaves plus a round Terminus for open shapes that can be set on each other within a 30 degree range of arc. The smallest circle is 60” diameter with 12 leaves, the largest is 90” with 24 leaves. It is 18’ long and 30” wide as a straight line with all 24 leaves. There are 30 legs available."

View the rest of the design document here.

Phoebes Table Dance I loved this. Mr. Huskey illustrates the mathematical equation that defines the number of possible configurations of the Phoebe Table with graphics. No back of the envelope calculation, this.

And these are his thoughts about the mahogany veneer he used to highlight his creation...

"The top is veneered with quartersawn mahogany that is highly chatoyent with a subtle crossfire. I came across it 15 years ago and have been saving it for a piece worthy of its beauty. Each crescent leaf, as well as the terminus, is veneered as though it were a starburst radial pattern. This pattern originates at the implied center of the circle of the outer edge of the crescent. A starburst pattern with a highly chatoyent wood is very active when you walk around it. The flashes and changes in color follow you as you move. That effect is multiplied in this design. Each leaf flashes incrementally differently because you are in a slightly different angle to each one. You see the starburst from twelve angles at once and the flashes all move as you do. The effect is dazzling and mesmerizing."

As is the video Mr. Huskey produced to introduce the Phoebe Table. If you like out-of-this-world design, and excellent classical guitar, this video is for you.

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About the Author

Chuck Ray, PennState, Associate Professor of Wood Operations

Chuck Ray

Dr. Charles D. “Chuck” Ray is Associate Professor of Wood Operations Research at Pennsylvania State University. His specialty is in the area of operations research, specifically those operational issues that confront the majority of the wood products sector. He previously spent 15 years in research and quality management for two large building products corporations, Temple-Inland Forest Products and Louisiana-Pacific. Ray is the sixth generation of his family to work in the sawmill industry, the Ray Brothers Lumber Company, established in East Texas before the turn of the last century. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @ChuckDRay. He maintains an Extension website for Penn State at and also writes a blog on all wood issues called Go Wood which can be found at

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