I’ve been longing for a different coffee table for a while. I couldn’t find one that I liked available for sale anywhere, but I knew exactly what I wanted. Luckily my dad has major woodworking skills and a garage full of tools! I drew a sketch of what I had in mind, and last Saturday morning we built my new coffee table. My mom and sister helped too, which makes the table extra special since everybody had a hand in it—well, except Daniel since he was still asleep. It turned out even better than I imagined!
I will write up some DIY instructions below, but since we figured it out as we went along and my dad was the brains behind all the measuring and sawing, I can’t provide detailed table building plans. It’s probably best to build a table like this with someone who has woodworking experience. I know if I had attempted it on my own, my table would have ended up crooked and covered in blood (because I would have sawed my fingers off).
We ordered the barn wood from this website, and the hairpin table legs from this website. My dad made a 30″ x 48″ base for the table by screwing two sheets of plywood together. First we attached the hairpin legs to the bottom of the plywood base with wood screws. After that we cut the barn wood for the herringbone planks to 3.75″ wide on a table saw. Then I layed out all the pieces so there would be plenty of color variation throughout the table top.
Next we used a chop saw to angle the slats so they would fit together to form the herringbone pattern at the center of the table. Once the pieces lined up properly at the center, we traced a line on the bottom of each plank where it stuck off the table top and sawed along the lines to make the planks the right length. Then we attached them to the plywood base with a nail gun—my favorite part! (When we tried to screw into the barn wood it split, but the nail gun didn’t cause the old, brittle wood to split at all.)
After that we lightly sanded the edges of the table to remove any big splinters. Then we used the table saw to cut the outer frame pieces to the right width, and my dad used grandpa’s old miter box to saw the corners. After a little more nail gunning to attach the frame, we carved our names into the bottom of the table with a Dremel tool, and we were done!
The only thing I still need to do is add a piece of glass to protect the table top. I like the look better without glass, but I don’t want to have to worry about making sure people use coasters to protect the wood (and by people, I mean Daniel).
So, what do you think? Have you ever, or would you ever try your hand at woodworking?