One day last summer, I was chatting with my sister-in-law about her recent living room redesign and how she was looking for a coffee table to fit the space but hadn’t found one yet. I periodically browse Ana White’s website for project plans just to see what other people are doing and what kinds of awesome furniture is being built these days by people like myself, so we hopped on Ana’s site to see what kind of coffee table plans there were. The Rustic X Coffee Table design immediately grabbed the attention of both of us and we commented about how we liked it.
Fast forward three months. When our family drew names for a Christmas gift exchange and I happened to draw my sister-in-law’s name, I immediately thought of the coffee table. I texted her husband to see if she’d purchased a coffee table yet and she hadn’t! Being five months pregnant and feeling pretty icky, I debating taking on the project, but in the end I couldn’t resist. I purchased the lumber and got to work.
I really need to get some Kreg corner clamps… I worked on this project mostly by myself while my husband was at various and sundry meetings and other events in the evenings, after the kids were in bed. It was a little tricky to get the sides screwed together but I eventually managed with some help from a wall and some regular clamps.
I got the frame built and then went to work on the X details. Oh, since it was dark and cold and also wet outside, I built most of this coffee table in our master bedroom. A sliding compound miter saw (which was my fantastic birthday present from my wonderful husband last year) is normal bedroom decor, right?
Next up was the tabletop. I borrowed some clamps from my dad because I don’t have any long enough to span the width I needed.
Lots of pocket holes, lots of glue, lots of screws, and lots of clamp finagling later…
We have ourselves a table top!
The bottom shelf was easier to construct because it’s made up of two 1x12s instead of 5 2x6s, but it was more challenging to attach to the table base because of my unconventional methods of building the base (did I mention I need to get some corner clamps?) that caused it to not be completely square or level. After some adjustments (a lot of adjustments) I finally got the bottom shelf in there.
I tested out the stain color on the underside of the tabletop while I had it upside down to attach the top to the base. (See my usual staining process in more detail here and here.)
Since it was still cold outside, I stained the table indoors with the windows open and a fan blowing some of the fumes outside. Then I closed the door on the room where I’d done the staining and put a towel at the bottom of the door to try and keep the smell from leeching into the rest of our house.
After the stain dried (I think I put two coats on) I took the table outside to spray polyurethane it. Yay for a warm (ish) and sunny day!
The last step was to add the [completely fake and purely decorative] hardware elements to the corners and base of the legs. I first had to spray paint my pieces black. I used a flat black from Rust-Oleum. See those small boots? I had the cutest small helper who was not helpful in the least…
…but he sure is cute and fun to be with.
After the hardware dried, I attached it to the table (screwed in the corner brackets, and drilled out holes for the bolts and glued them into place) and called it a coffee table!
We drove the beast of a table all the way to the east coast for a family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration combined into one weekend. My sister-in-law was surprised (I think!) and it was fun to see the finished project in its home while we were visiting. She styled it beautifully and it looks great!
I had some scrap wood leftover so I made a couple of picture ledge shelves to go with it. I didn’t use Ana’s plan but she does have a great one! Stay tuned for pictures of the shelves.