coffee table to go with the X Console Table! On Ana's Facebook page, a few people requested plans for this coffee table after the console table was posted. We had it in the works, but it took me longer to build than expected, due in part to the insane Waldo Canyon Fire that recently ripped through our hometown. Our family was evacuated the same day I bought the wood for this table. Thankfully, our house made it through unscathed, although we have friends who were not so lucky.
When we returned home from our evacuation, I was itching to work on this table. Building is my favorite form of therapy, after all, even when it feels like I'm playing with kindling. Working on a piece of furniture clears my mind and refreshes me.
I have begun marking time with furniture. I remember what my life was like, what my kids were up to, how I was feeling as I built each piece and so each piece I work on has a different place in my heart. This one will always remind me of those hot and windy, smokey grey days. It will remind me of the sadness I felt as we drove away from our beloved forest and city. Of the longing for our neighborhood and mountains to be drenched by rain. Of the tears I shed as I stood on the hill behind our home in disbelief, watching the fire engulf mountains and houses. Of the faith that filled me and reminded me that what I love most are my people -- and my people are all safe. It will also remind me of the relief that covered me as we returned to our home, perfectly intact. It will remind me of how our community comes together to love and support one another, to ease one another's burdens.
I love this table. I love the smooth grey weathered finish and the bulk and heft of it. Even more, I love that it bears the weight of heavy memories. It stands as a reminder to me of how blessed my family is -- to live in a place that we love with people whom we love in a house that we love.
very simple to build. Once I got started, I was able to complete it in about two days. It took me around 5 hours to build and sand and maybe another 3 or 4 for the finish. The X on this table is much simpler to cut than the X on the console table because the angles are within reach of a typical miter saw.
The only time I didn't follow the plans was in cutting the Xs, because I tend to be terrible at getting measurements perfect when they involve anything other than a 90 degree angle. For those cuts, I held up a 2x2 in the right position on the table, marked where and at what angle it needed to be cut, and then set my saw accordingly. I did this with all four pieces, marking the smaller pieces on both the ends and in the middle, where the smaller pieces intersect the long diagonal piece.
The finish on this piece involved the same process as the X Console Table. It's a process of oxidizing, or weathering, the wood to make it look like it's been sitting out in the elements. Because each part of the table is made from a different species of wood and because wood weathers at different rates, it did require a bit of experimenting and thinking, but is still a relatively easy finish.
You can find a tutorial for the finish, which is sealed with furniture wax, here.
There are two kinds of decorative hardware on the table. Down at the bottom of each leg is a 1/2" x 1" hex bolt, available for under fifty cents each at hardware stores. To attach them, I drilled 1/2" holes in the table legs where I wanted the bolts to go and then used wood glue to keep the bolts in the holes. The brackets at the top are simple L-brackets that cost a few bucks each. They don't come with screws -- I used #8 one inch screws to attach them to the corners of the table. Both the bolts and the brackets came in a shiny steel finish which I sprayed with flat black spray paint. Once the corner brackets were attached, the heads of the screws were painted with the same black paint.
So there you go. A beautiful, rustic table able to carry the weight of heavy memories. Here's to adding more memorable pieces to our homes and to filling our homes with happy, thankful memories.
Psst...for more on our view of the fire, check out this post and video.
Psssst...for a post on the X End Table, check out this post.