DIY Coffee Table




Introduction: DIY Coffee Table

I had seen an amazing coffee table made out of railroad ties at Anthropology a few or so ago. The price was way out of my range- so I made my own! I drew up the plans which you can find here and HERE. You can also find more info and the full step by step on my blog- Adventures In Creating!

Step 1: Cutting the Steel

After drawing up the plans I was able to figure the amount of steel and lengths I needed. I brought my plans to a local steel mill and had them cut it down to the correct size for me.

Step 2: Prepping the Steel

The stell had a lot of grease on it so I cleaned it with GooGone. The ends also had sharp edges leftover from cutting so I used my Dremel Grinding bit to smooth it out.

Step 3: Welding the Base

Once the steel is all prepped it was time for welding. I have a small arc welder which was perfect for this project. I used my angle and clamps to make sure I was getting a 90 degree angle. Then welded everything together.

Step 4: Grinding

Once welding was finished I grinded down any slag that was left from the welding process.

Step 5: Painting

The next part was painting the steel. I used Rustoleum flat black spray paint.

Step 6: Table Tops

To replicate the look of the aged pine boards of my inspiration table I bought stain grade pine, had it cut down to the size I need, then used several techniques to "age" it before staining. The whole process included using wood glue and clamps to secure the planks together. I let it dry overnight and put some weight on top to keep it level. To give further support I used mending plates on the underneath to further attach the planks together.

Step 7: Attaching the Wood Tops

After my wood glue for the wooden tops was completely dry it was time to attach them to the steel bases. I used the metal drill bit to drill holes for my screws. Then attached the tops with wood screws. 

Step 8: Staining and Aging the Wood

To give the wood and aged feel I did several things: I used the edge of my sander to scrape it up, I used a blunt ended screw driver to poke some holes in it, and just banged it up in general. After I was all done with that I used Minwax wood stain to stain the wood. And then sealed it with Minwax Wipe On Poly.

Step 9: Final Product

Now it's time to sit back and admire my finished table! The overall cost of this project was about $100 for all materials and supplies. The inspiration table cost $399-599! Not to shabby!

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Woodworking Challenge

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    Question 3 years ago on Step 3

    Forgive my ignorance, but what type of arc welder do you use here? Google informed me that there are two types, MIG (Gas Metal Arc Welding) and TIG (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding).


    6 years ago

    what color stain did u use..that's nice work btw..


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I like it. Wouldn't this scratch the floor if it was on hardwood instead of carpet?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It sure would. But if you can drill into the metal to attach the top with screws, you can get little screw on rubberized feet to attach to the bottom and save your floor.