Picture of Building a yew coffee table

I decided that I was going to build a coffee table as I have been doing a bit of woodwork for the past year, mainly jewelry boxes and some basic shelves, and thought this would be a good project to further my skills. I had originally envisaged the table being made from waney edge pippy oak, as I had made a couple of shelves out of this wood, but having looked on the internet to price my project up I noticed a page called selected woods.....there I saw some lovely yew boards which would be great to make an unusual piece out of. I had not come across yew before so looked around on the internet for ideas for my coffee table as the boards came with waney (natural) edges and had quite a few splits and cracks. It looked like the best way to deal with the cracks would be to fill the bigger ones with resin or something similar just to stabalise the large top. I decided to make the four legs out of one board and use the other board for two bottom shelves. To join the legs to the table top I will be using mortise and tenon joints and attach the bottom shelves to the legs with pegged through tenons. Hopefully this will give enough lateral stability to resist racking forces and create a not very wobbly table.

For the table top I used a 940mm x 400mm x 50mm single piece of yew
For the legs I used a single 200mm x 1680mm x 27mm board cut into four
For the lower shelves I used a single 150mm x 2080mm x 25mm board cut in to two.
Wood glue
Epoxy resin to fill the cracks

Table saw
Router + straight bit
Safety glass
Ear defenders

atlantica1 year ago

Ha ha.. the title sounds very ethnic...

Hey Gyuiseppe!! Whar are yu doing dere? Building a yew coffee table?

Nah...eetsa coffee table for a surea....but I'm a make a for my mama.

bricobart1 year ago

Do you realize you just messed up a great piece of wood to make an ancient longbow?! I should have extracted the bow-piece and reduced the table size ;)

But yeah, me is me. Nice work, by the way!

Tguard131 year ago
I've seen tables sell for near $1K that weren't that nice. Great job!
HPandLOTR1 year ago

great job! i love the natural wood look to it :)

awesome work!

seamster1 year ago

Very nice!

Regarding finish, I really like shellac. It supposedly doesn't provide as much protection as polyurethane though, but I think it makes the grain pop a little more if you do a few layers, sanding in between, plus a coat of wax on top of that.

I like your cross cut sled too. I've been planning to make one, and the slots for hold-downs is something I had never seen on a sled. That's a great idea!

petachock (author)  seamster1 year ago


Thanks for your comments I have looked a little in to shellac but still not sure, I don't think I'll go for PU as I've read that it can look a little 'fake' or like varnish which I don't really want.

A cross cut sled is something you really should make I use mine nearly all the time and the hold-down slots are extra useful and super safe! They are just not too good for dust extraction so I need to add some kind of hood that runs along the line of the blade.