My sister has been on the quest for a coffee table to replace her chintzy Walmart special for some time now. I love Walmart as much as the next basic bitch (do basic bitches like Walmart? I can’t keep it straight), but the table she has is in its twilight years and needs to be retired.
At any rate, her taste does not match her budget, and after watching her swoon over the beautiful $400-$500 reclaimed wood tables at Wicker Emporium for the past few months, I decided I would try my hand at making her one myself. Her birthday is in January so the timing was pretty perfect.
I had two goals for this project:
1. Make sure the table resembled a table, and
2. Keep it under $100
It looks just like a table, and the total cost was $58. I feel like Beyoncé.
My shopping list:
3/4″ plywood panel, 2′ x 4′
4″ x 4″ x 8′ cedar post (1 cut into four equal 16″ pieces)
2″ x 8″ x 12′ piece of SPF (1 cut into three equal 48″ pieces)
1″ x 2″ x 8′ piece of SPF (2)
Everything else I had on hand.
To start, I had Matt cut four legs at 16″ for me from the cedar post. This is the only cut he helped me make, the rest I made myself using the table saw and mitre saw, and I still have both my hands. I beat the hell out of the posts with my hammer, and then sanded them down with a fine grit paper using my random-orbit sander. I set the plywood on top of the legs (ensuring everything was square by using my eyes) and drilled into the plywood on all four corners. If I were to make another table I might put in a few more screws next time.
Next I laid my 3 pieces of wood out onto the floor side by side. Instead of using the same width for all three pieces, I decided to switch out the middle piece for a wider one I had on hand. I set the plywood base on top (flipped over with legs in the air) and drilled it into the boards (make sure your screws aren’t too long or they will poke through the top of the table!)
After all of the planks were secure on the plywood base, I made a brace between each leg using my 1x2s cut to size.
I flipped the table right side up and gave everything another good sanding.
I needed to frame the top in order to hide the plywood seam. I went over to
Home Depot my Mom and Dad’s basement and found some really nice 1×3 trim. It wasn’t being used, so I took it. I measured and cut all my trim at 45 degrees using my Dad’s mitre saw, and framed out the table top attaching the pieces with finishing nails.
One last go with the sander to take down all the corners and sharp edges. I didn’t fill in any of the gaps or nail holes with wood putty because it is supposed to look like shit ok? That’s the aesthetic.
I used one coat of Minwax Puritan Pine…
…followed by one coat of Minwax Dark Walnut.
I left it to dry in the garage for a few days before finishing it off with Minwax Oil-Based Polyurethane. I thought about using furniture wax because I’ve never used it before and I wanted to try it but my sister has a
demon sweet little dog who loves to piss on stuff.
So to make sure none of Maxy’s urine would ever penetrate the legs of this fine table, I opted for the more durable of the two finishes. I gave it three coats of Minwax Oil-Based polyurethane and let it dry for a week before delivering it to Haley and Max in the big city.
This table is the tits, and let me tell you, it is solid. It can support a vase filled with flowers and a one-eyed Maltese at the same time. #blessed