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How to build an elegant coffee table
How to Build
An Elegant Coffee Table
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Step 1: Check the Wood Finish of the Coffee Tabletop

Wipe the tabletop (the large hardwood board) with denatured alcohol or paint solvent. This will imitate a finished surface for a few seconds, effectively allowing you to see what the wood would look like after you stain it. Perform this test on both sides of the hardwood board to choose the more beautiful side for the top.

Step 2: Build the Long Coffee Table Aprons

The frame parts beneath the coffee tabletop are called table aprons. Rest the tabletop (the large hardwood board) with the more beautiful side facing down. Place the long 2x4 lumber sections (36 inches) over both sides of the table where their length matches the length of the tabletop.

Make sure that together the aprons and tabletop create a flat surface. Be sure also to place them upright, with the 2 inch side touching the tabletop. Hammer 5 inch nails into the table apron to attach it to the tabletop. Tip: You can first glue the aprons down to keep them stably in place as you hammer.

Step 3: Build the Short Coffee Table Aprons

Insert the short 2x4 lumber sections (32 inches) between the already nail long ones, to complete the square frame of table aprons. As before, place the table aprons flush with the tabletop end and on their 2 inch sides.

Step 4: Build the elegant Coffee Table Legs

Create a diagonal cut along the end of each table leg. The cut should rise 4 inches from the bottom and extend 2 inches into the base of the leg. Make sure to cut the legs so that the elegant diagonal cut faces cut and in the same direction on both sides. Tip: it’s where elegant to face the diagonal cut outward.

Step 5: Attach the Coffee Table Legs

Place each coffee table leg inside the apron frame in the corner where it belongs (depending on which way the diagonal cut is facing). Hammer the legs in place with the headless nails, from outside the apron frame.

Before hammering the nail all the way in, place a flat piece of waste wood over the nail, to protect the table apron from hammer dents. Drive the headless nail all the way into the wood apron.

Step 6: Conceal the Nail Holes on Your elegant Coffee Table

Mix the sawdust from cutting the table legs together with a little solvent-based varnish. This will create wood putty in the identical color of and grain of your wood. Smear the putty into any holes left by the headless nails, then wait for it to dry.

Step 7: Sand Your elegant Coffee Table to Perfect

Using the P-220 grit sandpaper, sand your coffee table using a sanding block. You can wrap the sandpaper around a block of 2x4 lumber to make a homemade backing block.

As you sand, make sure you eliminate any elevation changes, hammer indentations or wood surface flaws in your coffee table. When finished, sand with P-320 grit sandpaper in the direction of the wood grain, going in straight lines to create an even finish.

Step 8: Finish, Stain or Paint Your elegant Coffee Table

You can finish your table with shellac or varnish for an elegant, traditional coffee table. Avoid polyurethane varnish and conversion finish as these products make it difficult to repair any surface problems like scratches or wear that may develop with time.

For an industrial, elegant coffee table, prime the wood surface with waterbased primer first (such as Kilz 2, Zinnzer's Primercoat2, Zinnzer's Bullseye 1-2-3), then spray with stainless steel paint or semi-gloss white, black or red paint.

Comments? Questions? Drop me a line.

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 © Inventive Home Improvement, 2011