DIY Coffee Table

By Mark Huyser

Today we made a simple table for the upstairs communal area of Better Farm.

This project was designed and financed as a donation by visiting WWOOFers Sara Hawkins and Mollie Cross-Mole.

After consulting with me the girls were sent off to get furniture-grade plywood and 3/4" oak veneer. The girls had the wood cut somewhat to size and brought it back to the farm.

I had Mollie and Sara design the curved legs and as the design was found it was off to the shop to start on the legs.

After beveling the edges on a 45-degree angle that had to be completed first (because we wanted to use one single board to make two half-legs) it was time to cut the curved legs with the jigsaw.

Next up was to tape the two half-legs together at the seam and apply wood glue to make an L shaped corner leg in which Mollie assisted after watching me assemble the first one.

After one hour, the glue was cured and the legs were ready for a sanding. First up was a 120-grit to get off all the glue residue and eliminate any scratch marks in the veneer; followed up by a quick sanding in 220-grit to ensure a smooth base finish.

The next step was to take the trim router and apply a small beveled edge to minimize injuries and extend the lifetime of the edges on the top plate and the middle board. Then it was back to sanding again.

Of course, a faithful carpenter's dog will not make way for dust and flying wood chips. Instead he will choose to stay right at your feet no matter what.

One of the last things that was left to do was to manufacture 3/4" x 3/4" support and fastening pieces. I chose this fast and simple method instead of using dowels or a biscuit joiner. This method fastens hidden and requires no dry time, which speeds the manufacturing of the table up substantially.

The last step for my part was to assemble all the pieces with wood glue and screws.

Now the table is off to the girls for further enhancement!

Thank you Mollie and Sara for this fun little project!

Learn more about Mark's projects or contact him for custom work by clicking here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.