How to Build a Log Coffee Table
Making furniture from logs can really add a touch of rustic personality to any home. One of the easiest and most useful projects to embark on is making a log coffee table. You can build a coffee table to fit with the dimensions of your lounge out of reclaimed logs or wood from a lumber yard. Either way, the finished product will be a unique statement and a focal point of your home.
- Select the top piece for your table. It should be large enough for the complete table top, flat and at least 2-inches thick. Wood that has been stored outside may split and warp as it dries out in a warm home. To prevent this, select wood that has been cut for about 12 months and stored inside.
- Select the logs that will be used for the legs. They should be at least 2 inches in diameter. For a really rustic look, choose logs at least 4 inches in diameter. Blemishes and knots in the wood can add a lot of character to the finished table.
- Measure 18 inches along the selected logs for each leg and make a mark with a pencil. Cut each log to size using a table saw. Trim each end of the four legs so that each end is flat and each leg is the same length.
- Measure a 1/2-inch from the top of each leg and draw a circle around the circumference. Put the blade of the chisel on the pencil line and hit with the hammer. Strip away the wood until the end is cut into a slight cone shape that tapers to approximately a 1/4-inch less in diameter than the rest of the leg.
- Flip the table top upside down. Measure 4 inches along the length and mark the spot with a pencil. Draw a line across the width of the table at this point. Measure 4 inches along the length from the other end and draw another line across the width of the table top. Measure 4 inches across the width from each side and draw a line down the length of the table at each point. The points where the lines intersect mark the center point for each leg.
- Choose one leg piece and select the corner where you want to attach it to. Place the tapered end of the leg exactly on the intersection of the pencil lines and draw around it. Place the chisel on the circle with the flat side of its blade facing inwards. Cut out the circle by chipping away with the chisel and hammer until you have a hole 1-inch deep. Measure around each leg at its own corner and cut the holes in the same way.
- Apply wood glue to the tapered end of the leg and push into its cut hole. Hammer the leg in place so that it is wedged tightly into its hole using the rubber mallet. Fit the remaining legs in the same way and allow the wood glue to dry.
- Sand down the table using a belt sander. For awkward spots, use a wood block with sand paper wrapped around it. Apply wood stain to protect the table's surface and allow to dry before use.