Pine Slab coffee table -- first project!

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Project by bryson posted 01-23-2013 10:48 AM 75655 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is actually the first piece of furniture that I’ve built, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

This table came to be because of a Christmas gift that I helped my friend build for his wife. She wasn’t happy with their current coffee table, so we split a bourbon barrel and made a pretty cool base, then talked to a friend of ours to see what kind of wood we could get for the top at a good price. As it turned out, he had several slabs of pine that he had just gotten milled, so he was able to give us one for a good price (he doesn’t do a lot out of pine). We bought a 10’ long piece, so I figured I would make myself a coffee table out of the other half.

This was a learning experience for sure—I ended up really enjoying helping him build his, so I bought a handful of used tools and began working on one for myself. I have several years of metal fabrication under my belt, and a good bit of experience refinishing old wooden automotive interiors, so it was a lot of fun getting to do something new that drew from both experiences.

I think that the simple construction techniques made it a great first project. Keeping the live edges was a big plus—all I had to do was plane the top and bottom surface and belt sand until I had something relatively flat. Then, I just worked the base until the table top was level enough for my liking. The grooves shown on the underside of the top are used to locate the top to the base—the base has four short 1×4 posts that act kind of like biscuits, except that they are only glued into one side.

I am not really a fan of the yellow look that finished pine takes on, and am thrilled so far with the water-based finish that I applied. My preference would have been to just oil the wood, but I think that it may have even added more yellow tinge than the polycrylic.

Anyway, I’m happy with my first project and can’t wait to post up a few more! This site is amazing, and looking through all of the projects really gets me amped up to work on more stuff! I’m almost done with a TV stand too, so I should be posting up my second project in a week or so.

9 comments so far

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2160 days

#1 posted 01-23-2013 12:33 PM

Im usually not a fan of pine furniture, but that’s a gorgeous table. Great work.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3208 days

#2 posted 01-23-2013 03:13 PM

Very nice!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View a1Jim's profile


117229 posts in 3718 days

#3 posted 01-23-2013 03:23 PM

That’s really something ,nice work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bryson's profile


18 posts in 2102 days

#4 posted 01-23-2013 05:17 PM

Thanks for the compliments!

I’m not the biggest fan of pine either, which made this pretty challenging. I considered several different approaches to make the wood look less… pine-y, but decided that leaving it raw to show the heartwood and the blueish streaks would be the best approach as long as I could find a finish that wouldn’t contribute to the yellow color.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3242 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 05:47 PM

Well, I am a fan of Pine and your table.
I like the contrast between the legs and top.
Nice photos…....................

-- mike...............

View Manitario's profile


2631 posts in 3024 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 06:50 PM

Great looking table! I like the unique way you made the base for it. My first project, before I really had any tools was a pine coffee table. As pine ages it takes on a rich warm hue which looks great.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2331 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 09:39 PM

beautiful table!!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2831 days

#8 posted 01-24-2013 02:24 AM

A beautiful table and a very unique and innovative design on the leg/skirt joinery. That also looks like some acrobatic milling going on!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29860 posts in 2479 days

#9 posted 01-24-2013 05:56 AM

Love the live edge. Great Looking build.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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