Monday, July 9, 2012

My New Coffee Table

See that great looking table? I made that! Designed, cut, sanded, bolted and finished! My dad was a huge help with recommendations, a bit of know-how and with all his tools. He was essential in the project, even though he kept calling it "Fred Flintstone's table." He didn't agree with the style, but I certainly like the way it came out. A bit industrial, I'm not afraid of getting a few stains or scuffs on it, but it still has class. It's made with redwood & heavy metal straps that hold it together. Look past the break to see its progress!

Drawings and measurements- "measure twice, cut once" is something my father taught me long ago, and who am I to let such advice go to waste?
I bought the lumber at a lumber yard, brought the pieces home and got down to business.
The two straps you saw before were one of the hardest part of this project. Local hardware stores failed to have a simple piece of metal with only three holes in it-most too many holes, weren't the right length, or any other number of problems. It was very important to me to get the look of the table right, so I made my own. After buying a long, uncut piece of metal, a new saw blade and drill bit, the father son team was rolling again.
This is the table, constructed but not fully sanded and without a finish on it. 
This is why sanding/finishing is necessary: before...
...After. By far the longest part of the project was sanding, finishing, re-sanding and re-finishing the wood again and again. But all the work certainly paid off. Although the finish leaves the wood smooth, there is also texture left. I wanted to leave a bit of extra character in the redwood. You'll also notice that the straps are flush with the wood, although the carriage bolts do stick out. There's enough room to put plates on all sides of the straps and in between the bolts, and drinks can obviously be put virtually everywhere. My parents insist that the carriage bolts will be an annoyance, but if you really have a hard time putting something down on a table without hitting something about half an inch around, then so sorry, I guess this table isn't for you. I love the way it looks, and wouldn't change a thing. I'm shipping it to Boston to use in my apartment, it might be a bitch hauling it up the stairs when moving in, but it's worth the trouble. Now I just have to figure out what my next project is!

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