The Coffee Table of Fun

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About This Project

Pine

Hello Fellow Ana White Fans!

This is from Ana White's lego coffee table plan, but my daughter is not a huge fan of legos, so we’re just calling this project the Coffee Table of Fun!  Indeed it was a fun build.  This project gave me the excuse I was looking for to buy a kreg jig.  Certainly a kreg jig was not required, as the plan calls for a plywood top and bottom, but Ana revealed in the comments that she made her table by planking 1x6 boards with the kreg jig.  I was nervous at first with the kreg jig (it comes with a whopping big bit), but now I see a world of new possibilities in building with this awesome tool.

This table came together very quickly.  In fact, perhaps it was too quick, because I made a substantial mistake during the build.  In step 8 of the plan, adding the top sides, I missed the fact that the top side was supposed to be flush with the top support, not with the box itself, so that there would be a ledge for the top to rest on.  I didn’t realize my mistake until I added the top ends (correctly), and then measured for the top piece.  Then I scratched my head after realizing that the 3 planked 1x6 boards were not going to fit at all.  Oops!

I was disheartened at first, because I didn’t know what to do.  By the way, Ana has included a “How-To’s” section on this new site for fellow builders to submit tips.  I’d love it if someone could give some pointers about fixing mistakes.  Is there any recourse once a board is glued and screwed?  Anyway, I took some quiet time to think about the project and had an “Aha!” moment.  I ended up attaching 1x2 pieces around the inner edges of the two compartments to create the ledge for the top to rest on.  Then, instead of the three planked 1x6 boards that I’d planned on, I used 6 1x3’s planked together to make the top.  Yes, there was an unexpected detour from the plan, but it all worked out just fine.   I’d rather not make mistakes, but at my current level of experience, I think that mistakes are inevitable, and the mistakes actually give the piece a story and a little extra personality.

Looking forward to the next project!

Cheers!

Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: 
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Finish Used: 
Stain with Minwax poly shades - pecan satin
Estimated Cost: 
$50

Comments

The Ram and I went back and forth over the color of our coffee table, and I must say, I just love the natural color of yours!  Beautiful and thanks so much for sharing!

Hi Ana!  Wow, you checked out my project!  Awesome! :)  I think that made my day!  This was such a fun build.  Yes, we went with the light color because I live in such a small house that I try to to stay light and bright.  However, I debated a bit, too because the coffee table does not match the sofa legs, but I'm beyond thrilled with the table. Now my daughter and I are trying to decide on a super cool toy to go inside. 

If you have used PVA glue, it can be removed with minimal effort using a blade and a Clothes-Iron.
Put the iron to steam mode, maximum setting possible. start steaming the plank at one end. Get as close as possible to the joint, you are trying to steam the glue in the joint...
after 5-10 minutes, slide the blade into the joint and push. I use a butterknife, but a single-edged razor works good too...
Once the blade gets to a stop, or can't go any further, start steaming again. repeate until the joint is fully seperated. Once the first bit is done, you can hold the Iron at the opening and blast steam in.

This is how guitar luthiers remove the fretboard, which only takes approx. 20 minutes to do, so in short-exposure, the steam will not warp the timber. I have done this a few times with minimal effort. When doing it on guitar, the iron is placed onto the frets directly, and the frets inject the heat deep into the timber, so perhaps that info could help you somehow?

good luck! :D