To make this project easier, you can have your timber pre-cut to size at your local Bunnings. Here's our cut list:
65mm x 19mm pine DAR
42mm x 19mm pine DAR
90mm x 45mm Tasmanian oak
65mm x 19mm Tasmanian oak
You will need to attach support battens to the inside of the coffee table sides to support the slats. They should be positioned so the slats and the sides of the coffee table frame are flush. To do this take your two 65mm x 19mm lengths and attach a 42mm x 19mm length to each as a support. Glue and fix into place with the nail gun.
Take the two 710mm lengths of timber, which is for the short side of the table, apply glue to their ends and fix into place with the frame using the nail gun.
Measure and mark for the slats leaving an equal distance between each slat. We made our gap 15mm apart. Place the slats on the battens and secure into place using the nail gun.
For a nice clean finish, use wood filler to fill any nail holes and gaps. If you need to make the wood filler more pliable, try putting it in some warm water first. Once the filler is dry, sand with the orbital sander using 240 grit sandpaper.
For a great finish and good coverage on your table, apply two coats of primer. If you're using spray paint, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions, work in a well-ventilated area and use the appropriate safety gear. Use smooth even strokes to apply the primer. Once the primer is dry, finish off the table with your favourite colour. Apply as many coats as necessary.
For a neater finish and to make the table sturdy, you'll need to make a rebate in each leg. Measure 65mm down the leg, which is the depth of the frame. Then set the drop saw to 26mm, the width of the frame, and make a series of cuts along the timber to check out the rebate. Use the drop saw to cut the leg to size – 350mm. Then use the hammer and chisel to remove the timber from the rebate. You'll need to do this for all four legs. Then use the orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper to make the edges smooth.
Flip the table so the top is lying on the workbench and clamp it down. Then place the rebated legs so they sit flush with the frame. Pre-drill with a 2mm countersunk drill bit, then glue and screw into place. You should use a 40mm galvanised screw into the end and a 30mm screw into the facing board.
To give the table a clean look, we attached the 570mm Tasmanian oak as a trimming to the ends. Make sure that your trimming is cut according to the length of the sides of your table. Fix the trimmings with glue and nails for both sides.
Putty up all of the holes in the legs and the trimming. When it's dry, sand until it's nice and smooth.
To bring out the natural grain of the timber, give the coffee table a stain or coat of varnish. We used masking tape to keep the varnish away from the painted timber. Apply as many coats of varnish as necessary, then leave to dry and lightly sand between coats.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.