Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Rustic Coffee Table

   Here is a fun one, someone asked me if I could make a coffee table for them. They wanted one that consisted of distressed wood. They would like it to look older and more "country" style. Colour wasn't really a factor but they figured a dark colour would be best for them.

  I imagined something like a shed door from an old western movie perched on some squared legs with a shelf underneath, nail heads showing, splits and knotholes, saw marks on the boards, tumbleweeds floating by while two gunslingers face each other at high noon................ please read on while I finish watching Clint Eastwood.

 This is what I came up with, I still draw em old school.

   Hmmm..... distressed wood. Where do I get that. I don't really want to take new wood and try to make it look old. That's a heck of a lot of work when time and the elements have already done that for me. Just need to find where mother nature left it. A search ensued and fortunately it wasn't a lengthy one. With distressed wood on hand I toiled to turn my vision into reality.

  It's a big change trying to work with wood that is not flat, straight, even in thickness and has more dam quills than a porcupine. At least half a dozen slivers in the first five hours. I felt like Les Nessman, he did the hog report and weather on the old sitcom 'WKRP in Cincinnati', bandages everywhere. Oh and add on a showering of antiseptic.

I screwed the top boards to some battens to keep them in place.

On the ends of the top a tongue was formed to fit into the dado in the breadboard end that will slip on to the end of the table.

Breadboard ends pegged into place with some maple dowel. I'll trim the ends to be just a little longer than the top is wide for expansion purposes then join the top to the lower assembly. To fill the old nail holes in the center of the boards I grabbed some square cut nails and cut some off their length off and then hammered them in. Now that looks down right rustic.

There are some more square cut nails in the ends of the shelf boards for some old school looks. I was having so much fun at this point that I neglected to take some shots with the camera while building the lower shelf and attaching the legs.
Here you have it, ready for some final sanding to make sure the porcupine is naked.

Looking lovely with a coat of oil finish on it. Tomorrow the table will receive a coat of poly to seal it up. You many notice the leg on the left has a nice spot for a squirrel to store it's nuts for the winter.

You can see a nice gouge on the top in this pic.

  Well that's it for now, I'm going back in the shop and change my bandages and get back to the other projects.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Amazing! I love that it looks like it's been around forever.

  2. Thanks, that's what I was going for. At least I don't look like I've been around forever....yet.