This coffee table was made from reclaimed wood. The top once was a floor – heart pine. And the legs and aprons are douglas fir from roof rafters that were in a house built in 1848. The side panels are cedar.
The coffee table was for a couple in New York city. They have a very nice, but compact apartment, but they needed storage and a table – but one that was practical and could be moved about the apartment. We worked with them and designed a moveable table that could store their record albums and blankets.
The table was made of reclaimed rafters and pine flooring from a friend of mine’s tear-down construction project. The house was built in the early 1900’s – so in a way this piece of furniture is an “antique” – in that the wood is over a hundred years old.
The first activity was designing the table itself. I have found that it pays great dividends to plan the entire project out on paper first. This means from what you want it to look like to each piece and its size. You learn a lot from doing this – as opposed during the build. Each view had to be drawn and then sized. Each piece figured for measurement.
Then selected the wood. Went out to the backyard – and what looks like a trash pile of wood to most – is actually my treasure hold. It contains future unknown pieces of work – like this one. And from it I selected a few pieces of douglas fir for the legs and aprons, cedar for the side panels and heart pine for the table top
Now the fun begins. Seeing if all the planning actually works. I dry fit all of the pieces to confirm that all is good. And No things didn’t fit first time thru – as was expected. The tenons were not actual mirrors of the mortices – a little re-work needed to be done. But aside from that – the planning was pretty good – and I fell great about that. The cedar panels were glued to the aprons, the legs attached to the aprons, and the bottom of the table to the legs and the aprons. It was a bit tricky – and I didn’t have enough clamps for all of the joints. A trip to home depot was required – which certainly put a damper on the progress. While the table was the right size (5 ft by 2ft) it is certainly big.
The last challenge was building the table top. The flooring needed to be milled and the various pieced biscuit joined so that I could get a 2 foot width from the 8” pieces. This was a multiple step process – meaning that once the width was joined and glued, then the length needed to determined. For additional stability, I framed the tabletop so that it would reduce the cupping of the table.
The piece is actually a sister piece to the secretary desk that I made for Caroline. The coffee table will reside in New York and the secretary desk in Boston.