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How to Build Your Own Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table

I built this bespoke, rustic reclaimed wood coffee table with hairpin legs for a customer using scaffold boards and 16″ hairpin legs. 

In this handy tutorial, I’m going to show you exactly how I did this, step-by-step. 

The great thing about building your own reclaimed wood coffee table, is that the table top can be customised to any size, so that it fits perfectly in your home. 

Such as this slim, longer version of a reclaimed wood coffee table that I built for another customer, this time using 14″ hairpin legs. 

Wooden Scaffold Boards

The scaffolding boards I used for this reclaimed wood project were bought direct from a supplier on eBay.

I got a great deal on these scaffold boards, so I bought a large quantity to have in stock.

eBay is the cheapest place I’ve found for purchasing scaffold boards online, I bought these 13ft boards for £11 per board.

This isn’t the only place I’ve acquired scaffold boards before though, Facebook Marketplace is another great source to find reclaimed boards. 

Though, nothing beats getting your scaffold boards for free.

Obviously, as working with any type of wood, it is a live material, and responds to its surrounding environment.

So, you cannot 100% rule out your furniture having knots, twists, cracks, splits or warping.

That’s the beauty of working with natural materials, these imperfections add character to your pieces, but should be fully functional and stand the test of time. 

To help limit your table top from warping, let it acclimatise for at least three days inside for interior pieces. As well as when aligning your table top, alternate the end grain direction, so if there is any cupping or warping, it will be wavy rather than curved. 

Hairpin Coffee Table Legs

Hairpin legs are a great accompaniment, they’re strong, sturdy and look great with your reclaimed wood furniture.

I’ve previously purchased hairpin legs from eBay and Amazon. The legs I used for this rustic reclaimed wood coffee table were bought from The Hairpin Leg Co. 

Hairpin legs come in a variety of different sizes and colours, and each stockist tends to have one or the other. So it is well worth checking out all the various online retailers first, if you’re after a particular style of leg to use. 

Woodworking with Hand Tools

Method

Step One

First, measure the scaffold boards and cut them down to the desired lengths. This particular reclaimed wood coffee table is 90cm in length so I cut three boards down to this size.

Plus 2 X 66cm, support batons to match the overall width of the three scaffold boards, forming the table top. 

I used reclaimed wood from a disassembled pallet for the support batons.

Step Two 

After cutting the scaffold boards and support batons to size, it’s time to assemble.

Lay out your boards flat, with your table top preference facing downwards.

Place the support batons across the back and screw them into place working from one end to the other. 

You may need to unscrew and realign the boards accordingly, to get the downwards facing table top surface, as level as possible. 

Remember this is going to be a rustic piece, so don’t worry too much about imperfections, as they will give the piece character. 

Step Three 

Start sanding with a 60 grit and then work your way up to a 120 grit for a smooth finish. 

Pay particular attention, to the table top surface and edges to give thema nice smooth edge. 

For an even smoother finish, you could use 150-220 grit sandpaper, but I find 120 grit achieves the best results for the particular look I’m after with my rustic reclaimed wood coffee table.

Step Four

Next, I added all four of the hairpin legs to the underside of the reclaimed wood coffee table. 

Give yourself around an inch, from the edge of the wood to base of the hairpin legs.  When screwing the legs to the table with the provided screws. 

Step Five

After all the legs have been fastened to the table, I added a coat of dark oak wood stain. 

Once the wood stain had dried, I then added a clear varnish to the wood for further protection.  

Instead of using a wood stain and varnish to finish the wood, you could also use Rustins Danish Oil followed by a coloured wax such as Briwax Dark Oak to seal the wood. Both of which can be picked up from Amazon. 

Slim Coffee Table and TV Stand

The slim coffee table that I showed you earlier, was bought by the customer to be used as a TV Stand. 

Personally I think this works better as a rustic reclaimed wood coffee table, as it’s a shame to cover the beautiful grain, with a large TV. 

So here’s some images of it in my home used as a coffee table. Plus some shots of it being used as a TV stand.

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