Unintended Project

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Project by Amoc posted 11-24-2015 03:28 PM 972 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Did you ever build a project that you really had no plans on? My wife and I after returning from a very nice 40th Wedding Aniversary Cruise found our 30 year old coffee table was not as we left it. Family was watching our house and I guess things must have got out of control! The rails on the old table had buckled from the top and the legs were listing at 15 degrees off from straight. At first thought no problem, I will take the top off, reinforce, and while I am at it resurface the top. Yea, that was the plan. First the legs on the old table were held on by a corner brackets that had a center wood screw that when tightned would force the leg to the rails – stripped wood screws and bent brackets. Then I started to resurface the table with a 80grit belt sander, didnt even get barely past the old poly surface when ate through the veneer. I guess one too many times resurfacing.

So after telling the wife that her coffee table was toast and knowing how disappointed she was, I decided to to build her a new one. The condition from her, it had to resemble the old one. So off to the box store to gather my wood and supplies. 10 – Red Oak Planks 3/4×8 x 10’s, 2 bottles of wood glue, box of #1 biscuits, sand paper, stain, and poly I had what I needed. After 4-week ends this is the result.

What differed from the old one is this one has 2 1/2” tennons and mortises instead of using brackets to hold the legs and rails on, and on the bottom of the table top had added some scrap 3/4 plywood that I glued and pinned nailed to the bottom to prevent issues that wood shrinkage can cause. This is one heavy solid wood table. The only metal in this table is the corner brackets I used in conjunction with wood reinforcements to hold the top to the frame, and added reinforcements to the legs.

I finished with Classic Oak Stain, then 3-coat of clear shellac that was soap water sanded with a green scrubby pad, 1 coat Dark Hickory gel-stain, 400 grit wet sanded to 3 coats clear satin poly. After the poly was dry I gave a rub down with steel wool and paste wax.

My wife loves it, so I am happy, but don’t want to do another one of these for a while.

-- Ken from Ft Hood, TX

2 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5986 posts in 2470 days

#1 posted 11-24-2015 05:37 PM

So Ken, is this an evolutionary project? It certainly turned out nice. So if Mama is happy, everybody’s happy.

View recycle1943's profile


2519 posts in 1827 days

#2 posted 11-25-2015 09:55 AM

nice table – and, it’ll take some serious rough-housing to splay the legs on that.

Congrats on 40 years and where did your cruise take you ?

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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