My brother wanted a new coffee table for a birthday gift, so we traded some e-mails on design features. He found a coffee table online that he liked:
|Altra Coffee Table - the model|
For this project, I decided to use S4S pine (squared on four sides) rather than dimensional lumber like I had used on my own dining table. Dimensional lumber's edges are rounded, so when you join two boards together to make a table top, for instance, you get seams between the boards. With the dining table, these seams are a key area for food and crumbs to fall into and it is tough to clean out. Given that the coffee table would use a sheet of glass on top, this wasn't an issue. It does create a different aesthetic, and in this case, I was trying to closely match what the customer wanted.
The table top and the underside of the table were created using 3 boards joined together to make a flat surface. The storage drawers sat on an under-mount drawer rail. I hadn't used under-mount before and they are harder to find - I had to order from Amazon rather than get them at Home Depot.
This was probably the first time I've used a protractor since middle school geometry. I did not calculate the radius, diameter, or length of an arc, so I hate to disappoint any geometry teachers reading this. The protractor was great for sketching out the right arc that I wanted. I had tried using an upside down bowl or plate as a stencil (don't tell Pamela), but didn't like the sizing.
The table came together pretty well and I was very impressed with the color that came from the Minwax Polyshades Espresso. I will be sure to not do much staining in the winter though - it doesn't apply as smoothly and you are a lot more likely to get streaks and build-up.
The last step was adding a felt liner to the drawers. I got to play with a hot glue gun which was a lot of fun.
Pictures of the final product are below. I like the way it came out although it took me a lot longer to deliver than I would have thought. Thankfully the customer was okay with the delays.