It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated my woodworking projects. There’s been so much going on, but I finally got around to wrapping up my 6th project of the year. I’ve finally finished the coffee table for our formal living room.
This project took longer for a few reasons – time constraints, evening meetings, and the table was challenging. In the end, it turned out pretty good in my opinion.
This table was built by 1x4s and a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood. I also used a whole lot of wood glue! (not all of this wood was for the table…) This project was my first entry into the world of using dado blades, which look a lot more intimidating than they are. I also used a strap clamp, and made some pretty wicked miter joints.
I started off by making the legs. This consisted of cutting them to length, and gluing them together. I then cut a bevel into them to put an nice looking angle to the legs.
After that, I broke out my new dado blades. Dado blades help cut wide rabbets and dadoes much quicker than a regular saw blade. I used the dado blades here to cut a decorative top to the leg. Later on these will be where the frame goes.
Next, I cut the frame pieces. The plans I was using called for just a simple frame, but I wrapped them to have a mitered edge, which makes the table look more symmetrical. This part took me quite a bit of time, because I messed up one of the cuts, but I finally figured it out and got it put together.
Heading into the final phase, I had to do the table top. In essence, it’s a large picture frame with a sheet of 1/2″ birch plywood as the “picture.” I cut a large rabbet, and then added a shadow line to it, which is a neat feature that adds some depth to the piece.
Using the strap clamp was not easy. I had a lot of frustration with it. But it did work well.
After putting some support pieces on the bottom frame, I flipped the table top upside down, lined everything up, and put the table together.
I finished the piece by using Danish Oil. I put down a coat of natural wood color, and then put two coats of dark walnut color. After letting that thoroughly dry for about 3 days, I applied a spray polyurethane, about 4 coats of it.
I’m really proud of this piece. I had a lot of struggles with it. I think it looks really good inside our living room area.
Once again, I’d like to thank Steve Ramsey for doing such a great job teaching on his Weekend Woodworker course. I would have never had the ability to do this without his teaching.