Stylish coffee table

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Project by ferstler posted 10-15-2012 09:51 PM 1898 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister in law wanted a coffee table to replace the ratty looking one in her den. So, I got started.

The top is a combination of mostly cedar (three boards joined together edge to edge to form the larger width of the top), with a bit of redwood as trim shoehorned between the cedar boards. The redwood, which is as thick as the cedar and about .75 inch wide, can be seen as two thin, reddish pieces running down the length on either side of the center cedar board; the other two cedar boards flank the redwood strips. The triangular end inserts are also cedar.

The board underneath the cedar/redwood top board is pine (made from two 2×8 boards joined together to form a wider one), and the 2-inch dowel legs are pine, too. The cedar and redwood top section is just short of 2 inches thick (after running it through my thickness planer); the pine support board underneath is 1.5 inches thick, so the table surface is pretty rigid. The dowels are sunk into the upper cedar side boards a half inch, and are also supported by three-quarter circular cuts (using a forstner bit) in the pine board. Very strong PL brand construction adhesive holds them in place, as does a single Kreg pocket screw from the underside of the pine board. All board joining was done with a combination of Elmer’s carpenter glue and PL adhesive, plus pocket screws. Only four pocket holes can be seen on the bottom, holding the legs in place, with all of the others hidden between the top and bottom sections.

The table is 50 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 18 inches high, and weighs about 31 pounds. The pine board underneath was stained and given a single coat of varnish on the underside (no need to make that too fancy, but I did want it to look reasonably good), but the edges of the pine board were given three coats of varnish over the stain. The cedar/redwood boards are not stained at all and just given four coats of varnish; three brushed on, with the fourth sprayed on. The varnish darkened the wood without the need of a stain. The legs are lightly stained and not varnished. The edges of the side boards and pine board underneath were cut in curves to add a bit of flare to the looks.

Howard Ferstler

6 comments so far

View GlennsGrandson's profile


445 posts in 3652 days

#1 posted 10-16-2012 12:38 AM

Wonderful work with all of that different wood! I like the use of the pine underneath for stability and all of the colors turned out just great, I’d be proud to say that I built it if it were mine!

-- Grant - N Dakota

View Grower's profile


13 posts in 3418 days

#2 posted 10-16-2012 01:49 AM

Well done there chief! Looks good from here too.

-- Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

View a1Jim's profile


118310 posts in 4920 days

#3 posted 10-16-2012 02:41 AM

I really like this table a very nice job.


View MontanaBob's profile


875 posts in 4027 days

#4 posted 10-16-2012 03:34 AM

Now that is a stylish table…really like the tones…beautiful..

-- Imagine being called 'gutless' by Capt. Bone Spurs.

View chuck1962's profile


21 posts in 3394 days

#5 posted 10-16-2012 03:55 PM

OMG!! That is beautiful. What a wonderful project!!!

View USAFPOL's profile


125 posts in 3393 days

#6 posted 10-23-2012 02:47 AM

Very nice table, love the look and design.

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