Instructables
Picture of Two-Tone Table
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Made from a mixture of scrap and new lumber, this coffee table uses a DIY lamination method to create a solid surface from strips of wood without the need for heavy bar clamps.  All of the strips are yellow pine except for one contrasting stripe of cedar running all the way through the structure.  A series of strips runs 4" below the top surface as a brace and a shelf for magazines or laptops.  Cover strips, with dowel plugs to cover the fasteners, make the edges smooth, concealing the thread rods that hold the strips together.  It makes for a sleek but still very monolithic form.

It uses a method of construction first posted here:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Scrap-Table/.  That table uses a random assortment of scrap wood, which is certainly an option in this project as well; I opted to present the different material in a more organized way this time.

The materials can vary in cost, depending on how much you salvage and how much you buy new.  I had a mixture of new 2" x 8"s (which I judged to be most cost-efficient dimension based on how many 1-1/14" strips I could get out of each board) and scrap 2" x 4"s and scrap cedar.  Along with the threaded rods, sanding belts, polyurethane, new drill bits, screws, etc., the table cost about $50 and about 30 hours of time.

Thanks to Ramell Ross for the first five pictures.  http://www.ramellross.com

You will need these materials:

Cardboard for template
4-6 2" x 8" x 8' yellow pine or equivalent
1 2" x 4" x 8' contrasting wood
1/2" x 24" pine dowel
7 1/2" dia. x 36" threaded rods
14 nuts and washers
2 lbs 2-1/2" drywall screws
wood glue
60, 80 or 100, 120 grit sanding belts
polyurethane or varnish
rags

You will need these tools:

Table saw
Chop saw
Drill
Impact driver (optional but very helpful)
Hammer or mallet
Ratchet set
Dremel or hacksaw
Belt sander
Clamps
Ratchet straps
Orbital sander (optional)

 
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slylee2 years ago
Is that a southern pecan beer on the table? Right on!
vegas97983 years ago
Ok......Where,or better yet.....HOW..... can I drill a hole using an inch and five eighths spade bit in a peice of wood that only measures one and one quarter inch....(which is equal to, one and two eighths)...... by one and one half inch.... (Which is equal to, one and four eighths)?
use common sence! really??
jeffrey30012 years ago
Seeing this table inspired me to try it myself. I now have a beautiful coffee table for my apartment! The table saw I used was pretty old and it took quite a bit of ripping to get all the pieces down to the same width. Flipping them between cuts was essential. Once you start piecing the table together, you realize just how important it is to have all your material the same width. Even with a few small gaps between a few of the pieces, staining the table made these imperfections disappear. In fact, I shouldn't even call them imperfections as I feel they add character. Thanks again for the creativity and detail in your instructable!
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bdowler3 years ago
Should say 1 1/4, not 1 1/14?
Sjeiken3 years ago
I loved your design. Had to try making one myself :) Though with a small twist :)
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After looking at your projects I have to say that you have quite a head for design. That one thing can't be taught, you have to have it in you to start with. But, and don't take this this the wrong way, you need to slow down and pay attention to the details, such as joint fit and finish and grain matching. This will turn you projects from neat looking ideas into breath-taking finished projects.
When built and finished carefully with hardwood; this one project could net you 3 to 4 hundred dollars. Not bad for an afternoon's work. You have a nice shop or at least access to a nice shop and I'd really encourage you to continue to elevate your skills to a level that your designs deserve.
Keep on keeping on.
wholman (author) 3 years ago
oops. should be just 5/8" spade bit -- an eighth bigger than the threaded rod, to allow for wiggle room to align pieces and holes.
carpii3 years ago
Nicely done. I love the dovetail joints.

One the third pic, the left 'leg' looks vertical, rather than slanted. Just an optical illusion?
wholman (author)  carpii3 years ago
just an optical illusion . . .
vegas97983 years ago
In step "4Drillin'",you said to ,....."Mark all your pieces and drill a hole with a 1-5/8" spade bit."......am I to understand that each piece gets a 1-5/8" diameter hole to accomdate a piece of threaded rod thats only going to be 1/2" in diameter ?
wholman (author)  vegas97983 years ago
yup . . . you need some wiggle room because everything may not align perfectly.
Hey...... Thanks for the speedy reply wholman !
lollul3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
gilasjo lollul3 years ago
I know))
gilasjo3 years ago
Well! Wait i more!
angiemomma43 years ago
Love this table! I am trying to convince someone around here to teach me how to do it out of leftover boards from our hardwood floors. They are 3/4 " by about 3" wide at varying lengths. I know it sounds lame but the wood is really pretty and very dense. Sanding would be errrr....well. It is Tietje Rosewood.
Hardwood floors have tongues and grooves in them. You'd have to run them through a table saw to remove both the tongue and the groove. If they're unfinished, you could easily laminate different lengths together to create a longer table but if they're pre-finished, you might run into some difficulty gluing them. Good luck!
Thank you.
They are tongue and groove and unfinished as well. It makes for a gorgeous floor but a mess of a residue even years after all the sanding has long been completed. I still find sawdust on screens I forgot to wipe down after all was said and done. I will, indeed, need luck.
Those are actually really handy for making frames for cabinet fronts- think the "box" that frames the front panels. You wouldn't want to laminate them such that the 3/4" edge it towards the viewer- it would hide a lot of that pretty, expensive grain. I personally would take advantage of the tounges and grooves already in the boards (if they have them) and use them to make a table top. Build it on top on a 1/4" sheet of good plywood, and cut small strips as edge trim to hide the plywood. If they are unfinised (as in, not varnished or stained), I would then use a darker stain and a shellac to make a table that complements the floor. If you are sanding something as large as these tables, you really need either a belt sander or a random orbit sander. If you don't have bar clamps or that many screws, you could glue and stack the strips vertically, top with a straight 2x2 or 2x4, and add weights to press the boards together. You would want atleast 50 lbs per linear foot of wood strips, and not add more than 12" thick of strips at a time.
Thank you!

I think the grain would be beautiful as furniture as well, just need more help with details and tips like yours are what make me love this site nearly as much as I love dreaming about having all the time and energy to try every project on here. It's like a giant think tank for the handy and geeky all rolled into one. And I mean that in the best way, as I take quite a large amount of pride in the geekiness of my nature.

vegas97983 years ago
Love it ! Can't wait to get started on mine ! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and vision !
camp6ell3 years ago
i really like this and may well try to use scrap lumber to make one. it will probably have more "character," but that's ok.
only one question: how is the torsional rigidity of the table? (not saying it's not good, i'm genuinely curious) obviously the lower shelf pieces help a lot with that.
jacob2die43 years ago
great instructable, but dont fancy the technique.
This is very, very nice, completely beautiful!
endofline3 years ago
1-1/14" strips? Don't you mean 1-1/4"?
That's a pretty friggin' BOSS project! I might have to gimme a shot at that one!
Very nice. I don't like the looks of the plugs however. You can get a plug cutter and make your own plugs from the yellow pine. Wouldn't be so noticeable. Smaller version could be a bed tray for rearing, writing or eating.
Good job.
I'm just guessing here but I bet the plugs were purposefully made from contrasting wood. Looks fine to me but as you said, they could be made from the same type of wood if you want them to blend.
good work!
Nice table saw!
Dr. Pepper3 years ago
awesome
bertus52x113 years ago
As usual, a very nice design!
seamster3 years ago
I like it, very nice!
CrLz3 years ago
Sweet table and great technique.