Coffee Table from Wood Magazine

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Project by rwyoung posted 01-10-2009 07:35 AM 2555 views 5 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally getting around to applying a finish to the coffee table from the plans in the Dec/Jan 08/09 issue of Wood magazine. So far I have a couple coats of red mahagony stain applied and it looks pretty even. Interesting thing with the camera I borrowed, it seems to have extended red senitivity and I can see some of the areas that I know had glue squeeze out cleaned up. In person, the color is even, looking at the digital photo I can see some light spots. Interesting, might prove to be a useful tool.

Next up is a quick wash with shellac and then on to the poly and wax to seal it up.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

6 comments so far

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3664 days

#1 posted 01-10-2009 02:11 PM

I really like the lines of this table,very clean and tasteful. You have done a great job building it. Good luck with the finish, that is always my challenge!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 3990 days

#2 posted 01-10-2009 03:18 PM

Looks great! Did you make the moulding around the top?

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View rwyoung's profile


409 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 01-10-2009 04:57 PM

All the stock (except for the two coffee and magazine supporting surfaces) started out as S4S poplar from Home Depot. :) All the molding and trim details are done in smaller bits and put back together on the table. A combination of tablesaw and router table work. No fancy bits. Just some patience, gluing, scraping and sanding.

This is about 95% from the plans in the Dec/Jan 08/09 issue of Wood Magazine. Some small changes in dimension to better suit what I wanted, just a little bit smaller top size, etc. They list is as part of the Basic Built series which means everything can be found (or substitutions made) at the big box stores like HD or Lowes. I spent a long time sorting through all the boards in the bin to find ones with reasonablly matching grain and as little heart wood as possible. The two table tops are edge banded 1/2” plywood.

The good part about their “Basic Built” series is that just about anybody can do this stuff. The bad part is the materials expense. While I built this cheaper than I could buy a similar set it wasn’t that much cheaper. The building of this set is what convinced me to invest in a jointer and planer.

I have really enjoyed this project and it let me practice a lot of basic skills.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4395 days

#4 posted 01-10-2009 05:27 PM

Looks good!

It’s funny how the camera sometimes picks up things the naked eye does not. I have a little music box I made that I really like. I’ve tried to photograph it on two different occasions to post as a project, but the finish just comes out looking like hell in the pictures.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3849 days

#5 posted 01-10-2009 06:38 PM

Nice coffee table.

View bayouman's profile


94 posts in 3842 days

#6 posted 01-10-2009 11:28 PM

From here it looks great. Good luck with the finish…it’s always my toughest part of the project.

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