How to Make a DIY Coffee Table – Classy, Rustic Live Edge

by craftmin | July 31, 2018

Craft your own classy live edge DIY coffee table and give substance to any room. Rustic and trendy, this handcrafted coffee table evokes images of the natural and rough-hewn pioneer living in simple easy steps. Whether your style is minimalist or country, the earthy undertones of this table can anchor a room with its simple elegance.

Live Edge DIY Coffee Table

Live Edge DIY Coffee Table Materials:

  • 2 wood planks roughly 2” x 12” x 4’ (size would depend on how big or small you want your coffee table and the room where you’ll be putting your finished project )
  • Wood conditioner
  • Wood stain (your own color preference but try to retain the natural coloring of the wood)
  • Varnish
  • Hairpin legs (you can also choose other designs, just be mindful of the table top’s weight)
  • Sponge paintbrush
  • Belt sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper (size should be bigger than your coffee table. Tip: tape several pieces together if you can’t find anything big enough)
  • Wood glue
  • Jigsaw tool
  • Wood filler
  • Protective glasses
  • Woodworking clamps or weights
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Easy Steps (Live Edge DIY Coffee Table):

  1. Clear a work space with adequate space to move around and with good lighting and ventilation.
  2.  Glue the two 2” x 12” x 4’ pieces of wood together with wood glue, ending up with one solid 4″ thick plank. Tightly clamp them together using the woodworking clamps.  You can also put weights on top, but be careful not to mar the surface. Keep the boards clamped together until the glue is completely dry.
  3. Draw the contours of your coffee table on the paper.  Cut along the lines of your drawing.  Place the cutout on the wood and outline the shape of your coffee table.  Adjust the shape if you want to.
  4. Putting on your safety glasses, cut carefully through the traced shape of the coffee table using your jigsaw tool. Make sure you have ample space to move around and that the power cord won’t get tangled up as you move. Don’t hurry this process – remember that once cut, you can’t go back.
  5. Next, sand the table top using your belt sander until it is smooth to the touch. Remember to do the bottom too.  Using the sander, make grooves around the edges.  Include a few dents for that live edge feel. Do this slowly as you create the ridges for the raw and rough-hewn look. Do this until you get the look that you want.
  6. Once you have your desired look, carefully check the edges any gaps between the glued boards. Fill in the gaps with wood filler.  Let it dry before sanding off the excess wood filler.  Smooth the edges.
  7. Make sure that the wood is dry and brush off any stray speck before prepping the wood for staining.  Apply the  conditioner using a sponge brush.  The conditioner acts similarly like a paint primer and helps the stain to go evenly on the wood.  Follow the wood grain’s direction.
  8. Once the top, bottom, and edges of the table top have been completely conditioned and dried, you can begin staining your coffee table.  I cannot stress enough that the conditioner has to be fully dry at this point. Tip: Follow the directions on how to apply the wood conditioner.  Some conditioners may require hours of drying.  Remember to check the directions of how to to use your wood conditioner. It might take several hours before you can begin to apply the wood stain.
  9. Now you’re ready for staining the wood.  Apply the stain in thin layers using a sponge brush.  This is to prevent dripping especially while moving around.  Follow the direction of the wood grain.  Let the coating dry slightly before using fine sandpaper to remove uneven details.  Remove any dust caused by the sanding before applying the next coating. Apply the second or third layer until you get your desired look. Remember to follow the grain of the wood.   LEAVE TO DRY.
  10. Remember to apply the varnish in a place free from dust. While waiting for the stain to dry, clean-up and make sure  there are no dust particles on and around the table top. You don’t want to mar the varnish with a stray particle or two especially while waiting for the varnish to completely dry.
  11. Before you begin varnishing, make sure that the wood stain is completely dry. Using a sponge brush, apply a thin coat of  varnish. Dry each coat of varnish completely before applying the next layer. Use fine sandpaper to remove dust and gently sand the tabletop.  To fully protect and seal your table top, apply another 2-3 layers of varnish. Leave the table overnight to completely dry.
  12.  Carefully turn over the wood so you can work on the bottom side. Place the table legs where you plan to attach them, mindful of the coffee table’s balance and stability.  Attach the legs into the base.  Turn over the table and recheck for stability.  Give the coffee table a once over.

Enjoy your new classy live edge DIY coffee table while enjoying a cup of coffee and this gorgeous rustic rope lamp.  The pleasure of a live edge table is the visual delight of seeing each groove in a lovely project you have created with your hands. Check out another DIY wordworking project here.

DIY coffee table – Video Tutorial: