I got the cup holder/condiment table prototype built this eve. Turned out just as expected. It did not take long and has some good strength. I'm still not convinced I love the look but we'll see what the wife has to say. I have decided to make the entire top piece veneered maple with a ton of poly for protection.
Here is a side shot. I built it with ¾ MDF for the top and bottom. The stem support is 1x3 pine.
Here is a shot of the bottom and top. I used some hard-wood ¾x¾ pieces to attach the stem to the base and top. Brad nails and a good helping of wood glue did the trick.
So - how much weight did it take to keep this thing from tipping over you ask?? Well, with nothing on the top shelf, it still needs some weight - maybe 3-4 lbs.
Loaded up with (2) cokes and (2) bottles of water, 8lbs was almost enough if the water was located in the rear of the table (closest to the seating). 9lbs would do the trick.
But I wanted to be daring and put everything on the front most part of the shelf. Each of those green hand-weights are 8lbs. Using (2) of them at 16lbs was perfect. You can put some good pressure on it (even when loaded up with the drinks) and it will not want to topple over. I'm thinking I may be able to just build a 1.5 deep pocket for the entire base (12"x12") and fill it with playsand. I'll then put a ¼ piece of material on top to seal it up.
Here it is installed in the room between (2) chairs. I sat in one of the chairs and it will work out pretty well. I still need to cut the holes for the (2) stainless cup holders.
If anyone was interested in how the table turned out - here it is. The pics makes it look a bit more red than it is. It has a semi-gloss finish on it. Not too bad for a 10 year old pine table.