How To Add Japanese Kumiko To Swedish Table

My wife and I love our SKOGSTA Dining Table. I do woodworking as a hobby, and came up with a couple of ideas for customizing the standard SKOGSTA dining table.

IKEA item used:

SKOGSTA dining table

Applying Kumiko Woodworking

Japanese Kumiko is getting very popular with woodworkers. High-end how-to magazines like Fine Woodworking have featured a number of articles in the past few years on how to make the smaller (6”square and ½” tall) Kumiko pieces.

What is Kumiko?
JapanObjects explains, “Kumiko is a uniquely Japanese style of woodwork. The process involves interconnecting carved wooden pieces together, in intricate patterns, to create a finished panel without the use of glue, nails, or any other external tools.”

I took an online class taught by Johnny Tromboukis (from Upstate New York) through the Pratt Fine Art Center (in Seattle, WA) to learn how to make Kumiko.

For my project, I made 14 of the Kumiko pieces. I made two frames of seven Kumiko pieces each.

kumiko woodworking

Once I had the frames completed, I routed out a recess for each frame in the center of the SKOGSTA table. Then, I dropped in the two frames.  

japanese kumiko on ikea skogsta dining table

The only changes that I had to make to the table was to move one of the dowels aligning the tops.

japanese kumiko on ikea skogsta dining table

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the SKOGSTA table, the top is made of two separate pieces over 92” long. They are aligned with 4 metal dowels, and fastened to the table legs.

It turned out that two of the dowels were in the area where I routed out the recess for the Kumiko frames. So I moved one of the dowels into the center of the table top, and eliminated the other.

japanese kumiko on ikea skogsta dining table

The Kumiko frames I made are 1/2″ tall. I routed my recesses about 5/8″ deep to accommodate a piece of glass covering each frame.  The glass is not included in my photos.

~ by Keith Randich