rustic coffee table

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Project by benchdoggo posted 10-25-2018 01:28 AM 1437 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wished to build a custom square coffee table to suit our new sectional couch. The design elements I was looking for were: rustic & sturdy with maximum storage. This is my first project with quarter-sawn white oak, as well as featuring a drawer.

A rough prototype table was put together and used first so as to finalize the final dimensions.

Purchasing the rough wood from the local mill was an experience. I had to be very resourceful to select some wide pieces and therefore had to move a lot of heavy pieces around just to get access.

I was able to source adjustable under-mount metal slides to maximize the chance of proper drawer setup. These slides are full-extension and have a damped soft-close action. This design has a stealth drawer front for a modern touch; and having no drawer pull completes the illusion. The drawer is fairly deep as you can see in the last photo.

I used dowel construction throughout with the use of my Dowelmax joinery tool, except for the addition of off-the-shelf table brackets on the corners for reinforcement.

The drawer case is made of maple with a thick plywood bottom.

It seems to me that wood finishing is a discipline where art and science come together. Here is my finishing formula: a) 2/3 provincial and 1/3 gunstock oil stain b) wash coat c) coffee gel stain d) polyurethane finish. We were going for a darker look to match some other oak furniture that we have. The table top is darker than what shows in the photo, but there is some variation throughout e.g., some dense grain on the sides.

I’m very pleased with this overall and this will be our “daily driver” for everyday use. More importantly, my #1 customer/design consultant/project manager gave her stamp of approval. It certainly feels satisfying to design and fabricate this and to have a nice place to put down your cup of joe in the morning.

Salutations to all of the contributors on this website for posting their work and sharing knowledge. The projects here are outstanding, beautiful and inspiring for sure. Cheers.

12 comments so far

View swirt's profile


7633 posts in 4422 days

#1 posted 10-25-2018 01:52 AM

That came out great. Nice work.

-- Galootish log blog,

View benchdoggo's profile


4 posts in 1299 days

#2 posted 10-25-2018 02:26 AM

Thanks a ton amigo. 8-)

View therealSteveN's profile


9965 posts in 2024 days

#3 posted 10-25-2018 03:59 AM

Sometimes it’s very hard to get the proportions of a really large piece just right so it doesn’t look TOO big. I think you’ve nailed that, and all else looks good. Sounds like some firsts, so Congrats on that, as well as making a nice table that met your needs.

Now if the “Better Half” is displeased with something, is that huge drawer where a person would find you? JK, couldn’t resist, it’s so hard looking for a place to park a huge drawer joke.

Nice job, thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Ivan's profile


17280 posts in 4318 days

#4 posted 10-25-2018 05:57 AM

Beautiful large table. I like dovel joinery…

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View recycle1943's profile


7001 posts in 3072 days

#5 posted 10-25-2018 10:13 AM

anything quarter sawn is impressive but then coupled with a fine looking well thought out and executed project, it’s even more so.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View wacki's profile


106 posts in 2126 days

#6 posted 10-25-2018 01:10 PM

Nice, that is the style that I lean towards.

-- Bob Serwacki Helena Montana

View pottz's profile


25615 posts in 2435 days

#7 posted 10-25-2018 06:05 PM

nice job i like the overall look and finish.i was wondering where you got the metal corner braces,havn’t seen those before.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View SMP's profile


5296 posts in 1356 days

#8 posted 10-25-2018 06:49 PM

Great looking. And even thought I will never see it in person, my shins thank you for the rounded corners :) nice work!

View Moosesman's profile


217 posts in 3955 days

#9 posted 10-26-2018 12:39 AM

The oak is beautimus. Great job!

-- Cut it chop it rip it....make it!!!!

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4483 days

#10 posted 10-26-2018 03:16 AM

Very Nice Project & Well Done!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View benchdoggo's profile


4 posts in 1299 days

#11 posted 10-26-2018 03:58 AM

Sincere thanks to all commenters! The projects that people share on here are really amazing.

Huge drawer, lol, appreciate it!

The metal brackets are from Lee Valley (hardware → table hardware → brackets and plates).

Yeah, rounded corners are good to avoid injury haha. The top table edges are also rounded of course. 8-)

View splintergroup's profile


6896 posts in 2673 days

#12 posted 10-26-2018 02:24 PM

Selecting your wood most certainly paid off, well done!

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