Coffee Table, Rustic Design

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Project by riverguy posted 06-29-2013 06:15 AM 1828 views 5 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My client sent me a photo of a custom coffee table and asked me to come as close as I could to the basic design, but to match the colors of the rustic beams in her living room. She wanted the same kind of look as the beams, meaning flat-grain wood with tight knots. The design of the table made it necessary to use kiln dried wood so it wouldn’t come apart with changes in room humidity, and I was lucky enough to find some kiln-dried, tight-knot Doug fir 2×6. The finish on the table in the photo she sent was resawn, so I resawed the 2×6 into 1×6 and used the resawn side up with just a touch on the belt sander. Each individual “V” shape pair of boards needed to have its own hue, so they had to be stained prior to assembly.

I cut spline grooves in the edge of each strip, assembled the two sides with splines and glue, then trimmed each side square. Then each assembled side got a spline groove on both sides. The two sides were paired with a spline and glue down the middle, splines were glued into the edge grooves, and then the assembled top was glued and screwed down to the support framework made from the same KD fir. “T” nuts for the legs were installed into the support framework prior to fastening it to the top. The last step was to install the trim all around the edge, and to accommodate my client’s wish for an unfinished look that was still stain resistant I applied two thin coats of satin Polycrylic waterborne varnish. To keep the finish from drying with any gloss at all, I wiped it with a slightly damp cloth right after applying with a brush. That was one of those lucky experiments that worked well!

Per my client’s request, there are two wire baskets under the table that slide out to access small items like TV remotes. She supplied the baskets and the stainless steel hairpin legs.

I really enjoy doing these kinds of “interpretive” project wherein I get to do my best to accomplish what my client had in mind. She wanted a rough-and-rustic appearance, yet well crafted and practical in that it could be used freely without having to worry about spills ruining the unfinished surface.

-- Skip, Forestville, CA,

3 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17739 posts in 3693 days

#1 posted 06-29-2013 08:01 AM

Nice work, cool build.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2680 days

#2 posted 07-01-2013 06:47 PM

Like the rustic look and great combo of wood and metal. I’m sure the client was delighted wit the finished coffee table. Well done!

View indgreg's profile


302 posts in 2419 days

#3 posted 07-02-2013 03:52 PM

very nice did 1 about like it

-- greg indiana

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