Coffee Table Cabinet

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Project by cmacnaughton posted 08-07-2019 02:59 AM 758 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was built entirely of reclaimed wood, primarily from pallets (hence the random nail holes), except for a birch plywood base inside the cabinet. Species are approximate, because I don’t know the provenance of the wood, but my best guesses are oak for the frame and the door stiles and rails and tabletop banding, basswood for the inset panels and and unknown hardwood for the table top. Corrections and educated guesses are welcome!

I don’t yet have a jointer, so I jointed edges on a table saw sled and planed heavily with a thickness planer. When I say “heavily” I mean I had about 50 gallons of chips when I was done.

I’m a relative novice, and this was the first project in which I used mortise and tenon joinery. I built a table saw jig to make the tenons and I built a router jig to make the mortises. Other than cutting too deep (all the way through!) on my first mortise, I didn’t have any difficulties. I chose to round off the tenons with sandpaper rather than chisel out the mortises. I used a slot bit for the frames and rabbeted down the inset basswood panels to fit into the slots.

The hardware is all junk shop finds except for new magnet catches (hidden).

I stained the basswood to better match the rest of the wood, but didn’t stain anything else. It’s finished with polyurethane, which I applied with a Wagner spray gun I had but had never used for fine finishing before. THAT was a revelation after having brushed on finishes for years! I’m not 100% happy with how red some of the oak (stile/rail) is in contrast to the other wood, but it wasn’t that red before finishing, and fortunately the contrast is not as pronounced in the house as it is in bright sun in the driveway.

Lessons learned: Double-check and triple-check the depth setting on the plunge base when routing mortises. Test finish on scraps from EVERY part of a build. I need more clamps. A lot more clamps.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

5 comments so far

View swirt's profile


6823 posts in 4260 days

#1 posted 08-07-2019 03:48 AM

That came out quite nice. Nice first project post on LumberJocks.

-- Galootish log blog,

View therealSteveN's profile


9253 posts in 1862 days

#2 posted 08-07-2019 07:28 AM

With that tops overhangs, and the look of beef it has it could be argued this is a workbench with storage. I do not say that with any slight about the project also being used as furniture.

Nice build. Thanks for posting, and welcome to LJ’s

-- Think safe, be safe

View PPK's profile


1872 posts in 2097 days

#3 posted 08-07-2019 12:54 PM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks! Nice project!

-- Pete

View cmacnaughton's profile


222 posts in 932 days

#4 posted 08-07-2019 02:16 PM

Thanks for the kind words…Steve, for this to be a workbench you’d have to be less than 4’ tall! It’s 22” in height.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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