Lots of good comments! I do think it is a bit of stretch to include a jointer and surface planner on the ‘basics’ list – we’ve got a slippery slope here! And a lot of different approaches – money, space, time, resources, etc. But lets plunge ahead. If you buy your wood already (or mostly) prep’ed, then the jointer & surface planner can be postponed. You definitely need a way to accurately measure linear distances (e.g. length, width) so a good ruler and tape measure. You need to be able to measure squareness – so you need a good combination square. You need to be able to mark the wood – so a good marking knife, an awl, some chalk, a fine pencil, etc. You should have some decent chisels (and good ones don’t need to cost a lot!). You will need to sharpen them (again not expensive – piece of plate glass and some sandpaper). You need a way to accurately cut your wood – a couple of good handsaws and a file or two for sharpening. You really should have a decent work surface/work bench/etc – a good first project by the way. Last of the basics – a good drill (3/8″ vs battery type). Lastly (I could go on but room is lacking), take a look at Paul Seller’s video’s for simple but highly competent work.
While this coffee table instruction is free, I'm trying to make a living with these. I care about the quality of each piece and a lot of work went into designing the pieces and making the instructions so unfortunately I have to ask a little money for the other instructions. However when put into the perspective of a whole DIY furniture project I guess it shouldn't make that big of dent in your budget.
When I started planning this makeover, I knew I wanted to get rid of the glass coffee table I had and go with something more rustic and cozy… something with beautiful wood grain that looks like it’s been in an old farmhouse somewhere for ages. So rather than searching every single antique store in town or buying something off the shelf at a big box store, I gathered up my tools, picked up some lumber, and made myself a new coffee table!
I think it depends on the type of woodworker you would like to become. Are you more interested in traditional “electric free” carpentry or are you drawn to the ease and convenience of modern machinery? Also, I think you should take into consideration what kind and how much shop space you have available. I have worked with all the modern machines for years now, and are just presently finding personal satisfaction in traditional woodworking. In fact, last night I built my very first bookcase with just a few “powerless” hand tools. So in all, I would suggest some personal reflection…What type of woodworker do you want to become?…and from there garnish your shop appropriately.
You can make a coffee table stand out and be interesting from an aesthetic point of view without complicating its design too much. These plans from Abeautifulmess are a perfect example in that sense. This wooden coffee table definitely has what it takes to become a focal point for the living room and to serve as a statement piece for the entire space. Its design is a combination of sculptural and geometric beauty and a contrast between the solid and heavy top and the sleek and delicate hairpin legs.
Recycling and up-cycling wooden pallets has become a common knowledge we all encourage and admire.Versatile and cheap, they provide the excellent working material for any furniture piece or craft whatsoever, easy to manipulate and transform in a fast rate in unique useful pieces. Make your own coffee table out of wooden pallets by fallowing a few simple steps.
Now it’s time to attach the top of the table. Line up the 1×6 boards and place the frame you built upside down and centered on the boards. Drill 1 1/4″ screws through the supports into each board to secure them to the table. I used regular wood screws for this step originally, but the heads were sinking into the supports and not pulling the top boards down tight like I wanted. So I swapped them out for the Kreg Jig screws, which have washer heads, and they worked like a charm. If you’re having trouble getting those top boards secured tight, I’d try switching to the Kreg Jig screws!

1: Table saw in place of a jointer. Any number of tips in previous issues address straightening edges of boards without a jointer. A jointer serves one purpose, but a tablesaw can serve many (just watch your local Craigslist for a decent one to come up.) The thickness planer is unavoidable, but until you can afford one, buy stock in the thickness you need.
A coffee table with storage can be a really useful addition to a small living room or pretty much just any lounge space. After all, you can never have too much storage. So let’s see what it takes to build such a table. Well, you could repurpose some elements from an old cabinet if you have any. An already existing drawer could be the starting point for your project. Have a look at these plans from rogueengineer for more inspiration.
After you've used one of these free coffee table plans to build your dream coffee table, check out these other free woodworking plans for bookcases, TV stands, dressers, nightstands, step stools, entertainment centers, farmhouse tables, desks, jewelry boxes, dining room tables, wine racks, picnic tables, kitchen islands, home bars, bunk beds, toy boxes, and even dog houses.
Once the mixture is made, simply brush the solution on the wood. It won't immediately turn colors, but over a few hours you'll notice a considerable difference. Check out the photos of my farm table project to see how well it worked using fir boards. You'll notice the fir 2×2's used in this project really took the solution well. The other boards had a little coloring and grain enhancement, but white pine doesn't have many tannins in it so it is less reactive.

This is also a table made from a repurposed pallet. There’s not much you need to change about the pallet, except rearrange a few boards and make the frame smaller. The fact that each board has a slightly different color tone gives the table a special charm. The hairpin legs are a really nice touch. Check out the full tutorial to find out more about how you can build something similar for your own home.
×