St Helena Coffee Table

My wife, Nanette, and I are working on completing the design of our living room which has an open plan with lots of light and a casual feel.  We like the feel that natural wood provides and will build on that with a stone fireplace and reclaimed oak mantel piece.


We were captivated by the earthiness of the rustic and mission-style furniture we saw on a recent trip to Napa and I hoped to bring that into the living room by utilizing some more of the reclaimed oak barn wood that I recently purchased in Virginia.


I wanted to focus on straight lines and simply joinery when designing this project and letting the wood speak for itself.  I let the natural imperfections of the wood remain, didn’t try to over sand or over finish the project. I ended using a dark Jacobean stain and a couple coats of tung oil.


The legs of the table were straight 4×8’s cut from a beam that clearly saw some years of weather and pests.  I had to remove quite a number of 6 inch spikes before I could run the legs through the planer to true up and clean them up.  The tung oil penetrated the old wood and solidified the aged pieces.


The table top is roughly 28″ by 48″ and consists 5 glued up pieces.  The top was finished with a 10 degree bevel added to all edges and additional 7/8″ trim inset roughly 1″ below the top on 4 sides giving the top more beefiness but more gentle and interesting with the stepped edges.

As simple 9″ shelf was added below the top attached to stretchers that were attached to the legs with pocket fasteners.

The table is sturdy and tough and will withstand another 100 years of abuse, this time from propped feet and beverage glasses.

The overall finished size is 28x48x19.

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