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  • Writer's pictureRebekah

When you don't have 2 grand for a table, you DIY.

So a while back I posted about a coffee table that I was making. It I got almost all of the tedious construction done on a random warm day we had. Since I don't have a dedicated workshop, I have to wait for nice weather days to get all my woodworking done. We had a nice enough day last weekend and have had gorgeous weather this week (plus extra sunlight at the end of the day because of the time change!), so I FINALLY managed to get this table completed! Just to recap, I have been thinking about this table that I saw online for about $2000 dollars (if I remember correctly), and even if I wanted to spend that much on a coffee table, it's not even available for sale anymore.

I neeeeeeeeeeded this table in my life

When we were doing all the demo in the basement, we randomly found a couple of 1x10 walnut planks stored up in the old ceiling. I have no idea why someone would take perfectly good walnut and forget about it for years, but it saved me money, so I'm not mad about it!

it's kinda beat up, but why would you waste this?!

So I thought about how to construct this table for months to get the look that I wanted. The wood I found was obviously not as thick as the wood in the inspiration table, so I knew that I was going to have to use some of the wood to create the edge trim. I used plywood as the base for the top, and tried to find the nicest pieces of the boards to attach to the top. I used the table saw to rip down some of the leftover pieces into the edge trim and then cut the mitred edges on the chop saw. I bought the oak from Home Depot and ripped down some pieces of that for edge banding and cut the legs down to size. I also took the measurements on the bottom cross piece so that I could use a half lap joint for the bottom. That was all the work I finished on day one of table construction.

Once I had another good weather day to work, I drilled pocket holes in the legs to attach it to the table top, glued and screwed those to the top, and then fit the cross pieces in between the legs. Using a forstner bit, I drilled a hold for the screws and the wood plugs.


PRO TIP: If you're needing to drill holes for wood plugs this close to the bottom of a piece of wood, use some painters tape to tape up the bottom of the piece to help prevent tear out. I also ran the drill backwards (VERY SLOWLY) to help score the wood grain before running it forward to actually drill. This helped get MUCH cleaner holes.


After getting everything screwed together, putting in the walnut wood plugs, I let the table sit so that the glue could dry. To finish everything up I sanded down the wood plugs, and gave the entire table another good sanding. I went up to 320 grit-- probably unnecessary, but it's sooooooo smooth. Once I got the dust cleaned up, I used a rag to apply some Danish oil. I'm probably going to put on another couple of coats over the next few days, but I am THRILLED with the result:

The inspiration table doesn't really seem to have any sort of finish on it, but I know that's a recipe for disaster in our house. I really like how the danish oil brings out the beautiful color of the walnut and highlights the contrast with the oak. I LOVE it.

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