Extra Fancy Coffee Table

Continuing my working through the lessons in the Weekend Woodworker course, I got to try out my new (used) tablesaw in building a very nice coffee table. Unfortunately I don’t need a coffee table, and I have a very small house, but I thought this might work as a patio table on our covered patio, so I planned to follow all the steps and then paint the top to help protect it from drips we get out there from condensation coming off the patio cover. For the top insert, I wanted to use some leftover floorboards from the pergo in the kitchen, which I found stowed away in the garage.

Lots of clamps!

This was a great project to get warmed up to my new tablesaw. The lumber needed to be ripped down to size. Most of the crosscuts happened on the miter saw, which I was already comfortable with. To make using the table saw safer I have my push block, push stick, and featherboards to help control the wood. I’m getting pretty comfortable with using it now, but I’m very cautious every time, and follow all the directions from the course, including setting everything up and planning each part of the cut from beginning to end.

I’m still loving all the versatility of the roll-around tool carts. It’s so nice to set the tools where they work best for each project.

The little outfeed table I built for the table saw wasn’t as useful as I thought it would be, because it turns out the wing of the miter saw cart works equally well. So I got the idea that if I cut that table down, I could mount my router on it, and put the router table at the same height as the table saw, so with the saw dropped down, it would also double as an outfeed table.

I even added a drawer! Note: Navi is not allowed in the garage when tools are actually in use, or when things are dusty. Safety first!

So now all my router bits and accessories are in the drawer with the router. Perfect. And this project gave me the chance to practice routing the rabbet on the table top frame to inset the center insert. I did a bunch of proacticing on scraps before doing it to my work pieces. Now I’m pretty comfortable with the router too.

I tried really hard to get the mitre saw adjusted to get perfect 45 degree corners, but I couldn’t quite do it. It was close, I just filled it in with wood filler.

You WILL BE square!

Then I got creative and decided I wanted to add a lifting top to it. I wish I had decided this earlier in the project, the tolerances were a bit tight, and I ended up using a chisle to carefully cut away some wood that was interfereing with the hinges. But when I got done, it worked!

It has been just fine out on the patio so far, I may cover it up to protect it for the winter. I plan to add a couple new couches to the patio next summer, and then I’ll share a pic of the whole set. It’s a bit of a mish-mash right now.

Good project, I learned a lot, increased my confidence with the table saw, and the router, and produced a perfectly nice piece of real furniture! Success!

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