Monday, September 2, 2013

Herringbone Style Coffee Table

Earlier this summer I decided I wanted to give a pretty beat-up coffee table of mine a new top.  It had been a tag-sale find that my parents picked up when I was a kid.  When they got it, the piece was really wobbly, so my dad had reinforced it and attached wooden feet beneath the iron base.  I think the metal part of the table was from one of those old sewing tables, and the top was a bread board with a hole at one end for a hook.  

This thing had one corner that was chewed off by a puppy long ago, and tons of scratches, so it was time for a total overhaul!

I am really liking the herringbone style of laying down wood, so I did some research, a little bit of math, and bought a box of 100 paint stirring sticks on Amazon.  I figured out that if I cut my pieces to 8", I would have enough with my cut remnants to do the table and have a few extras.  It was good to have some extra, too, since not all the birch paint sticks are flat enough for this project.   

Next, I got the table ready for this project by gluing and screwing down a thick sheet of birch plywood so my pieces would have a smooth, flat surface to adhere to. 

On this piece, I found center and drew a line that the peak of the herringbone would follow.  I used a square to help keep my pattern on track as I glued each stick down, piece by piece with thinned out carpenter's glue. 

The edges proved to be annoying, but luckily I was working on this project at my parents' house, and my dad was able to trim the edges with a circular saw. I bought an extra fine saw blade for this project so the thin wood wouldn't split. All that was left on the top in this picture was the corners and a few tiny pieces.  The table stayed like this for over a month while I went away on vacation' came back, and did some other projects.

Finally, this weekend, I almost-finished this project.  I glued and clamped down these tiny pieces, cut some trim/edging to cover up the sides of the tabletop, and stained everything. The top is stained Golden Oak, and for the sides I used English Chestnut stain that was leftover in the basement.  Tomorrow I hope to give the thing a coat of polyurethane and call it done!  

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