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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my bride's been hinting how she'd really like a new coffee table so over my 19yo Son's Christmas break from College decided a new shop project was in order. She decided she really liked the look and grain of red oak but really preferred a golden tone to the wood.

We picked up some 5/4 stock for the top, some 8/4 for the legs, 4/4 for most of the rest and a piece of 3/4 red oak plywood for the lower shelf. With the shelf wrapping around the legs, we chose the ply to dodge the wood's expansion and contraction from tearing the legs off.

The 4/3 stock was ripped to width and glued/screwed with Titebond II and a Kreg jig and used a 1/2" roundover and a 1/4" roundover on the bottom to soften the edges. [images 1 & 2]

We cut the legs and skirt pieces, accenting them with a 1/4" roundover on 3 sizes and some saw kerf cuts on 2 of the faces. [images 3 & 4]

We took a picture of the test fit of the top to the base, but without attaching them, as we wanted to spray on a dye stain. [image 6]

Now to partially finish the parts before assembly!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I don't know about the rest of you but the finishing was the part where I had my greatest concern.. especially since she wanted it stained and, with a lot of materials and labor into making the table (and no time to make another if it screwed up) so I did a lot of reading... I've done very little staining and nearly zero spraying...

Bob Flexner's "Understanding Wood Finishing" and Jeff Jewitt's "Great Finishes" provided great color / material advice and Jewitt's "Spray Finishing Made Simple" book (and DVD) made it look pretty easy. So off we went..

We tried several colors and mixes on scrap and settled on the ratio of 1.5 tsp TransTint in Dark Vintage Maple mixed with 2 cups of denatured alcohol. We sprayed that outside at about 20F (wood and alcohol at room temp) and it worked good since the alcohol doesn't freeze.

We'd planned on spraying a dilute MinWax sating oil-based polyurethane but the temperature then dropped down to 10 below or so, so we diluted it 50/50 with mineral spirits and went for wipe on. Assembly began in image 7. Image 8 is of the figure-8 drawer support. You can see where we installed UHMW tape as drawer slides. With the drawers designed to slide out on either side of the coffee table, regular drawer glides wouldn't cut it.

In image 9 you can see the center divider and end panels. You'll also see where we drilled out for "rare earth" magnets. A matching washer in the outside of each drawer side and the drawer becomes self-centering.

Image 10 shows the interior of one of the drawers. The drawer cases were assembled with a drawer lock bit. Adjustment of the bit height was straightforward with the Sommerfeld EZ-Set jig.

Image 11 gives a shot of a magnet installed on the case side and 12 shows the UHMW slides and a drawer installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
In image 13 you can see where the companion washer (to the magnets) is installed in the drawer side.

In 14 my Son is applying the final coat of dilute poly.

Pictures 15 - 17 show the table from a few angles. We finished it up on Monday evening and my Son flew back to college in Tuesday. Just in time!!

I think my bride (of 25 years) had nearly as much fun photographing the build as we had doing it!
 

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Hi Jim,

Looking good so far.

Just one question, the design looks looks very similar to the one in the Kreg video.
Was it easy to put together?

The finish is also one thing that I seem to struggle with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi James..

Yes, the Kreg video "Tables" was the largest inspiration on the design.. though we didn't like some of their proportions and, more than anything, we didn't like using the Kreg jig to assemble the drawer cases, where the screw holes would show. They also gloss over the finishing.

Was it tough to make? No, not really... I think the key is to ensure your saws a *precisely* aligned to make the 90* cuts. We ended up making a couple of "adjustments" after I made the boneheaded move of not carefully checking to ensure the detent on my new (Christmas) Bosch Glide saw was *exactly* 90*.

As for spraying the dye with a denatured alcohol carrier, it is very forgiving. Since the alcohol just evaporates without "gluing" the dye in, a rag moistened with alcohol wiped over the top could so *some* smoothing even after everything had dried.

The satin poly is forgiving on perfect flatness, being diluted 50/50 helps with leveling and a folded poper towel as an applicator leaves no brush marks. I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it came out!!

The other thing that helped, in retrospect, is I was working on a 30"x72" folding table with a top of MDF with laminate on top, so it was really flat. I also used lots and lots of clamps... far more than the expert in the video. <g>
 

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Hi Jim

"think the key is to ensure your saws a *precisely* aligned to make the 90* cuts. We ended up making a couple of "adjustments" after I made the boneheaded move of not carefully checking to ensure the detent on my new (Christmas) Bosch Glide saw was *exactly* 90*. "

I had a similar problem with my mitre saw - I was able to adjust the fence to make sure the detents were at the right anles.
 

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Absolutely AWESOME job Jim. Work like that just blows me away.

btw... your son is a spitting image of my son with that red hair, I did a double take when I opened the thread pictures. :)
 

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Nice job Jim :) is that you on the floor. ?

==========

In image 13 you can see where the companion washer (to the magnets) is installed in the drawer side.

In 14 my Son is applying the final coat of dilute poly.

Pictures 15 - 17 show the table from a few angles. We finished it up on Monday evening and my Son flew back to college in Tuesday. Just in time!!

I think my bride (of 25 years) had nearly as much fun photographing the build as we had doing it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep.. taking a break, resting on my stool while my bride is taking pictures.. and my hand holding the drawer in the next picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes George, it was awesome having him there... I greatly enjoy his company. Some how I got *really* lucky to get him for my son. ...and thank you for the compliments to all..
 

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Looks very good, well done to be sure.
 

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What can I say Jim...:) just an excellent effort! A great example of choice of project, adapting it to your needs, materials choice, techniques and finish. Perhaps more importantly is the fact that this is moment in life that you and your son will share for the rest of your lives. That my friend is most cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Paulo,

Yep, he round metal things you see on the side of the cabinet in image011 are rare earth magnets. The corresponding metal washers on the sides of the drawer in image013.

Rare-Earth Magnet, Cup & Washer Sets - Lee Valley Tools

The drawers are made to slide out either way, so need something to "stop" them in the middle, in the "closed" position. When the washers pass the magnets (as the drawer slides in) they want to stop right there in the middle, perfectly aligned. They work pretty good.
 
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