How to build a custom timber coffee table.
A fairly simple step by step on how to build your very own timber coffee table. This thing is a beast
* be careful working with hand & power tools. I am not responsible for personal injury.
Pay attention, measure 3 times and cut once!
Step 1: Materials:
Pretty much everything can be found at your local hardwood (home depot/rona/lows etc) the beams (if you're using anything over 4x4) you may need to go to special lumber yards or look on craigslist etc.
-Timber beams. (you can use any size you want, for this table I used 6x8 beams. 8x8 weren't available at the time)
I needed this table to be 36"x36" so I used 6 beams (on edge) each being 36" long
-construction adhesive (I used LePage PL Premium)
-threaded rod (long enough to go the length of the table)
-washers and nut to fit threaded rod
-wood stain (I used Watco Danish oil)
-sand paper & sander
-flame torch (optional)
-drill & drill bit (big enough to make a hole for the threaded rod)
-table legs ( I built my own and will make a how to instructable shortly)
Step 2: Cut It
2 9 foot lengths of 6" x 8" fir
mark out the desired length you want to get the size table you're looking for and start cutting.
Measure 3 times cut once!
I only had a circular saw to cut these and because they are so thick, I couldn't cut all the way through. So I marked my cut length on all four sides of the beam and cut as far in as I cold with the circular saw, then I cut the rest with a hand saw ( only about a 2x3 section)
Once everything is cut, make sure all the sections are more or less the same size. In my opinion they don't have to be dead on EXACTLY the same length, makes it look more natural if they aren't.
Step 3: Drill It
Now you gotta drill holes through all the beams to put the threaded rod though.
If you have a bit that will go all the way through the beam then bonus for you! I did not, so had to drill from both sides in order to make the hole go through and hope the holes lined up! (they did for me) If you use a brill bit a little larger than the threaded rod it will give you some play when aligning all the beams up and make your like a lot easier.
Mark out where you want the rods to go. I put mine 8" in from either side and down the center of the beam.
Measure 4 times and drill once! Drill slow and steady to ensure you are making a straight hole
Again go slow! if you screw up it could be costly. These bigger beams aren't cheap
Once all the holes are drilled, test fit everything by sliding the threaded rod through all the hole to make sure everything lines up correctly. If one of the beams is a little off I suggest boring out the hole a little to get a little more play.
Step 4: Connect It All Together
sorry not may pictures of this step but its pretty straight forward.
Slide the threaded rod through the holes of one of the beams, lay a bunch of the construction adhesive down (being careful not to go to close to the edge or it will ooze out and creating a mess to clean up)
Once you have some glue down slide another beam down the rods onto the glued surface. Repeat this until you have ll the beams in place.
When everything is in place place a washer and nut on the ends of each rod and tighten it as much as you can. Lay the table top flat on the ground and leave it for a good day to let everything dry. Once dry, re-tighten all the nuts.
Step 5: Sand It!
Go over the entire table with sandpaper. Definitely easier if you have an electric sander. I think I used 80 grit for this first step. If you're not going to do the option next step I suggest then using a finer grit paper such as 120.
Make sure to take down the sharp edges a little to avoid injury in the future.
Step 6: Legs!
Flip the table upside down and attached your legs!
I think mine are place 3 or 4 inched in from the sides.
If you are using larger beams such as 6x8 or 8x8 your table will be pretty heavy so make sure the legs you use are strong enough to support it safely.
I made these legs myself, they are adjustable in height + or - 8" I will be making an instructable shortly on how you too can make your own and I'll attached the like here. So stay tuned for that.
Step 7: Burn It!
This step is optional, I personally like the way burning the surface brings out the grain of the wood.
Go over the entire surface with a flame torch.
This can be a little time consuming but it smells awesome.
Once it is entirely charred, go over the entire table again with a finer grit sand paper. I used 120 grit. The more you sand the more of the of the charring effect you take away so keep that in mind.
****Captain Obvious says be careful working with flames! Work outside in a well ventilated area. and have something to put a fire out if it should occur.****
Step 8: Stain It!
Apply your choice of stain to finish and seal the table. In this case I used danish oil.
Read and follow the manufacturers directions on applying the stain.
Let the table sit for a good day to fully ensure everything has dried.
Move it into its new space, crack a beer and enjoy a job well done.
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