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!

Woodworking Challenge

Finalist in the
Woodworking Challenge

Make It Real Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Real Challenge