Introduction: Chevron Farmhouse Coffee and End Tables
This Instructable will show you how to build a 4’x3’ chevron pattern coffee table and matching 22” x 24” end tables with a few basic tools. This project was inspired by the DIY Huntress' DIY Chevron Outdoor Coffee Table and Ana White's Farmhouse Coffee Table
I built the coffee table first followed by a large end table to go between two reclining couches, then a standard size end table. I learned from my mistakes and discovered a few tricks on the subsequent tables so most of the photos are from the last end table I built.
Pocket hole or dowel jig
Router with flush trim bit
Materials for the coffee table:
6 - Pine 2x2x8 boards (or 3 2x4x8s)
2 - Pine 2x6x8 boards
10 - Cedar 1x6x8 boards
2” wood screws
1 1/4” brad nails
2” brad nails
Off white latex paint
Materials for each end table:
2 - 1x6x8 cedar boards
2 - 2x2x8 pine boards (or 1 2x4x8)
1 - 2x6x8 pine board
Step 1: Cut Boards for Frame
If you are using 2x4 lumber, rip the boards to 1.5” using a table saw. First cut the beveled edge off so that all of your boards have square edges, then set your fence 1.5” from the inside of the blade.
Next, cut the beveled edge off your 2x6s then rip them down to 2”
Then, use the miter saw to cut the boards for the frame.
Coffee Table Cut list:
4- 19” 1.5” x 1.5” (2x2) legs
2- 32” 1.5” x 1.5”
2- 32” 1.5” x 2”
5- 44” 1.5” x 1.5”
2 - 44” 1.5” x 2”
End table cut list:
4 - 23” 1.5 x 1.5” legs
3 - 21” 1.5 x 1.5”
2 - 21” 1.5 x 2”
2 - 19” 1.5 x 1.5”
2 - 19” 1.5 x 2”
TIP: To make multiple cuts the same length, clamp a piece of scrap wood to your miter saw fence to make a stop block. Measure and mark your first board, line up your mark with the blade, then slide the fence to the end of the board and lock it in place. For your next cut, slide the board to your stop block and cut!
Step 2: Cut Rabbets for Shelf
To support the shelf, cut a channel in the frame for the cedar boards to sit in called a rabbet. You only need to make two cuts on the table saw for the rabbet. First, set the fence 1/2” from the outside of the blade . Next, lie a cedar board flat on the saw and raise the blade to the height of the board. Make your first cut on all four 1.5 x 2” boards with the 2" side flat on the saw.
Then, set the fence to the height of the cedar boards (mine were 7/8”) and the height of the blade to 1/2”. Run all 4 boards through the saw with the cut side down and toward the fence.
Finally, you need to cut off the last 1/2” of the rabbets on the shorter pieces. I used an oscillating tool for this.
Step 3: Drill Pocket Holes
Using a pocket hole jig, drill one hole at each end of the frame pieces except the legs. I usually drill the pocket holes into the side of the board with the most blemishes since this side will be hidden. You could also use a dowel jig instead of pocket screws
Step 4: Initial Sanding
Before putting the frame together, do a quick 80 grit sanding. This will allow you to sand areas that are hard to reach with the sander once the frame is assembled.
Step 5: Assemble the Frame
First, assemble the two ends of the table using wood glue and 2” screws. The shorter 1.5” x 1.5” pieces go flush with the top of the legs. Mark 3” from the bottom of the legs and attach the 1.5” x 2” piece (this allows clearance for a rumba!) Use corner clamps or a square to ensure the pieces are at 90-degree angles.
TIP: Here are the DIY corner clamps I used: https://www.instructables.com/Simple-Corner-Clamp-Jig/
Once you have the end pieces assembled, layout the longer 1.5” x 1.5” pieces on a flat workbench and attach the ends upside down. This helps keep the top level.
Attach the long, rabbeted 1.5 x 2” pieces. If you have large enough clamps, they help force the glue into the wood fibers making the joints stronger but they are not necessary.
The first pics are of the end table and the last two are the coffee table frame.
Step 6: Cut and Layout Table Top
First, draw lines down the center of the frame to use as a reference. Next, measure from the center of the table to a corner and cut your first piece of cedar at a 45 degree on each end a few inches long. Cut your first two pieces smooth side up and the next two rough side up. I made cuts from several different boards to get random shades and patterns.
Once you are happy with the pattern, mark the underside of the cedar boards where they overhang the frame. If you have a router, cut the boards 1/2” long; if not, take your time and cut the boards precisely to the edge of the frame.
TIP: For tighter joints, runs the cedar boards through the table saw to square up the edges. Although I purchased all my lumber from the same store, some boards were slightly wider than others so this made the boards a consistent width.
Step 7: Glue and Nail Table Top
Clamp a straight edge to your center line to help align the boards. Apply glue to the top of the frame and edges of the boards, then attach with 2” brad nails from underneath. Once you finished one half, remove the straight edge and attach the other half.
Step 8: Cut and Attach Shelf
For the shelf, measure and cut the first board for the shelf. Check the fit then use a stop block to cut the rest of the boards. Glue and clamp the boards one at a time and secure with brad nails. Since I planned to paint the frame I used 2” nails and nailed them from the side. If staining the frame use shorter nails and nail from underneath.
Step 9: Trim the Overhang
On the first table I built, I cut each of the cedar boards flush with the frame on my miter saw. This was time-consuming; so for the other tables, I purchased a flush-trim bit set for my router. The flush trim router bit worked great and took 3 minutes to trim the entire top. In the video, I left the boards too long and ended up with a chip out which is why I recommend cutting the boards 1/2” long.
Step 10: Cut and Attach Trim
For the trim, set your table saw fence to the width of one of your cedar boards. Rip enough trim pieces to go around the tabletop.
TIP: Cut your first piece to 45 degrees on the miter saw. Clamp the first piece into place and use a scrap piece cut at 45 degrees to line it up flush with one edge. Then use the same scrap piece to mark your cut on the other edge.
Glue, clamp and nail the trim into place using 1 1/4” nails.
In case I’m not the only one...make sure the smooth side is up when you make your cuts 🤦♂️
Step 11: Add the Xs
Line a 1.5” board with the top edge of the frame and clamp it in place. Line the board up with the opposite bottom edge of the frame and mark where it intersects the frame.
You can use a digital protractor to find the angle then subtract it from 90 to determine the angle for your miter saw. For the end table, the angle on the protractor was 51.4 so 90 - 51.4 = 38.6. For the first table I built, I did not have a protractor; I marked a scrap piece of wood and estimated the angle on the miter saw until I got it right.
After your first cut, mark the other side of the X, cut it, and dry fit it in place. Cut a second 1.5” board the same length using the same angle. Fit both pieces in place and mark where they intersect on BOTH pieces.
Find the inside angle with the protractor and subtract from 90. Use the marks on the long half of the X to center the smaller pieces.
Dry fit all the pieces for the X, then sand them before you glue and brad nail them in place. If you wait to sand the X after it’s attached, you will have to hand sand it because there is no room for the sander.
The angles for the coffee table were 20 degrees and 51 degrees; the end table angles were 38.5 and 13 degrees.
Step 12: Add Rubber Feet
If your table will be on wood floors, add rubber washers to the legs. I used 3/4” screws I had on hand and screwed them in until the head was slightly countersunk.
TIP: If your table wobbles, add an extra washer to level it.
Step 13: Plane and Sand
To save time on sanding I used a $14 bench plane from Harbor Freight. Once you have the boards leveled out, fill your nail holes and any gaps. I used wood filler for the cedar and dry wall mud for the portions I planed to paint. Sand the cedar with 80 grit, then 120 grit, then 220 grit. For the frame, I just sanded to 120 grit since it was getting painted.
Step 14: Stain
Vacuum the dust then wipe down the table with mineral spirits. This acts as a pre-stain and helps the stain absorb evenly. I stained the entire table with Minwax Weathered Oak stain, let it sit for a few minutes then wiped it down with the mineral spirits soaked rag. I then blotted expresso stain sparingly to the cedar using the same rag I used for the weathered oak stain. I went over the entire base with the expresso stain to achieve greater contrast when I distressed the paint later.
Once I finished staining the base, I used the mineral spirits rag to blend the expresso stain on the cedar. Add more mineral spirits to your rag for any areas that need more blending. Feel free to channel your inner Bob Ross and add more layers of stain until your happy. Let the stain dry according to the directions on the can.
The end table came out a little darker than I liked. After the stain dried overnight I sanded it again with 220 to lighten it up. Yes I have OCD 😉
TIP: Wear nitrile gloves when staining or you’ll stain your hands 🙌
Step 15: Paint
Once the stain has dried, tape off the bottom shelf. I rubbed a wax candle on various parts of the frame before painting. This will make the paint peel off in those areas once heat is applied. I used two coats of off-white paint on the base.
While waiting for the paint to dry, brush the first coat of polyurethane onto the top. Once the paint has dried, use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the wax under the paint. When the paint starts to bubble, scrape it off with a putty knife. Then use 220 sandpaper to hand sand the edges and anywhere else you want to distress.
Step 16: Polyurethane
Brush 2-3 coats of polyurethane on the cedar. Hand sand lightly with 220 grit sand paper between coats. For a smooth, glossy finish, spray the final coat from a can. I did a total of 4 coats (3 brushed, 1 sprayed) on the top of the tables and 2 brushed-on coats of polyurethane on the shelf.
Runner Up in the