For someone just beginning to purchase hardwood lumber, lumber grades can be overwhelming. Most lumber companies use the generally accepted grading rules set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association. Grades are based on the amount of usable clear material in a board. The highest grade boards are FAS and Select, followed by #1 Common and #2 Common. What grade you choose depends on your project. Some projects, such as tabletops and high quality furniture, may dictate the highest grade available. Many other projects are just as easily adapted to #1 Common (often referred to as cabinet grade) – kitchen cabinet doors, smaller projects and items where some character is acceptable.
In this step take your 2×2 rails that are 41″ long and drill  2 pocket holes on each end using a Kreg Jig. Then take 2 1/2 kreg screws and attach the side rails to each 2×4 end piece. Measure 2 1/4 inches up from the bottom to hang your lower 2×2 rail. Note that in the photo my pocket hole screws are pointing inward. The top rail's pocket holes can face inside the table or to the ground. No matter what they won't be seen. Make sure to have the lower rail's pocket holes facing the floor so you'll be able to attach the shelf to them later.

While flipping through the boards, keep an eye open for signs that a number of boards may have come from the same tree. Looking at the ends and the growth rings will tell you where in the log the board was sawn. In some cases, knots may go through more than one board, and often the outer boards have a live edge. By comparing these features, the colouring, grain and other distinguishing marks, it is often possible to identify several boards cut from the same log.


The first step to building the table is to create the bottom shelf assembly. We used 2×4 boards for this part and ripped the boards to 3” wide each with our table saw. You don’t have to rip your boards on this part, but it will change the overall dimensions, so be sure to make those changes. We made 3/4“ pocket holes around all sides of the plywood panel. We also added 1.5” pocket holes to the ends of each long board. Attach the long sides of the panel to both sides using wood glue and 1.25” pocket hole screws. The plywood for the bottom shelf will be flush with the top of the 2×4 boards.
Remember the coffee table made of crates that we showed you a while back? Here’s another one. This time the design is quite different. The crates are integrated into a frame and there’s also a table top which offers a smooth and uniform surface. the crates have handles and can be taken out and used as storage boxes for all sorts of things. The plans shared on hertoolbelt also show how to turn individual crates into cute little stools and ottomans.
Some moisture meters have pins that penetrate the surface of the wood. This can leave tiny holes that mar the surface and require filling. Others are pin-less. They have sensing plates that scan the wood beneath. However, not all pinless moisture meters are the same – look for one that uses technology that is not affected by the surface moisture in the wood, such as Wagner Meters IntelliSense™ Technology Moisture Meters. 

I built my coffee table!! I used the plans at www. EasyWoodwork.org to build mine – highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha
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