I have an awesome project for you all today! We’re going to make this french rustic coffee table with breadboard ends! This project uses pocket hole joinery along with some basic notching and tongue and groove joinery. Let’s get into the project and get the dust flying!
Here are the tools and items I used for the project:
- ISOtunes Pro
- Table saw (new version)
- Kreg ACS (track saw)
- Miter saw
- Shop Vac
- Drill (new version)
- Impact driver
- Flush cut blade
- Bench chisels
- Hand saw
- Drill bit set
- Bar clamps
- Clamp extender
- EZ hold clamps
- Woodpeckers square
- Woodpecers Paolini scale
- Rockler glue roller
- Paint scraper (similar to mine)
- Freud glue line rip blade
- Bench cookies
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How to Build This Coffee Table
- Get the Plans!
- Make the Legs
- Make the Apron & Stretchers
- Assemble Coffee Table Base
- Make Table Top
- Add Breadboard Ends to Table Top
- Stain & Finish French Rustic Coffee Table
- Final Coffee Table Assembly
- Go Build One!
Get the Plans
This project is built with reclaimed southern yellow pine from plans I have available.
Make the Legs
To begin milling stock for the legs, I start off on the jointer and establish 2 flat surfaces that are square to one another. Then at the table saw I rip the boards to rough width.
I cross cut the boards to rough length at the miter saw & then glue together two boards per leg.
After the legs were milled to their final width and thickness, I filled any voids with Total Boat High Performance epoxy. I used packing tap to confine the epoxy and keep it from just flowing out through cracks around the area being filled. To tint the epoxy, I simply mixed in some sawdust.
With the epoxy cured any excess removed, I cut the compound angles on the ends of each leg.
Make the Apron & Stretchers
At this point I move on to milling stock for the apron and stretchers. Since the legs of this table are splayed at a compound angle, the apron and stretchers need to have a parallelogram cross section. To do this, I cut an angle on each side of the boards. I then cut the corresponding compound angles on the end of each piece.
I chose to assemble this coffee table using pocket hole joinery, but the design can be adapted to utilize any means of joinery you prefer.
Before drilling the pocket holes I first scribe a line as a reference to position my pocket hole guide block.
Assemble Coffee Table Base
I started by assembling each set of legs on the left and right side of the table. I used plywood as a spacer to inset each apron & stretcher and then clamped everything together before running in the screws.
Next I set each assembly upside down on the bench and position the aprons. I use my longest parallel clamps to hold everything in place and check for square before running in the screws. I finish off the pocket holes by gluing in some dowels that will then be flush cut.
Next I move to cutting the center stretchers and notching out the bottom stretchers per my plans until I achieve a snug fit.
Before moving on, I flush cut plugs with a flush cut blade in my multi-tool
Lastly I use my biscuit joiner to cut slots for Z-clips that will hold the table top in place.
Make Table Top
Now I move on to building the table top. Here I’m starting out by rough cutting my boards to length on the chop saw.
Since I have an 8” jointer I need my boards to be no greater than 8” wide. Also, while I’m ripping the boards to rough width I want to make sure I remove the pith from each piece . This particular board has cupped considerably, notice that the board is on the saw so it will rock. This is intentional so that the boards fall away from the blade once the cut is complete. With the second cut in this board, I finish removing the pith.
Before gluing up this panel, I joint one face and both edges to ensure a flat glue up.
Before running the panels through the planer, I scrap off the excess glue. After several passes the panels are finished, and ready to be cut to final size on the table saw using a glue line rip blade.
Now I glue up each half of the table top and set it aside while the glue cures.
I filled all of the voids in the table top with epoxy like I had previously done for the legs. I start off with a card scrapper to clean up the excess epoxy, and then transition to my sander and go over the entire table top.
Now using the Kreg Plunge saw and Woodpeckers Square I cut the ends of the table square with the sides.
Add Breadboard Ends to Table Top
For the bread board ends on this table, I used a tongue and groove joint. I first cut the tongue on the table by marking how deep I wanted the tongue to be. Then I setup my plunge saw and make a series of cuts to score the wood. I then clean up the surface with a sharp chisel. I repeat this project on each end and side of the table.
Now I’m cutting the groove in each bread board. I’m using a flat grind ripping blade so that the bottom of the groove is flat. Alternatively, a router table could be used here instead.
Notice that the bread board is longer than the table’s width. This is to allow for easy removal while the fit is being tested. After a little refining of the tongue, the bread board is ready to be attached.
To allow for seasonal wood movement, it’s important to only glue the middle third of the joint. These Bessey clamp extenders don’t get used often, but they saved the day while gluing on the bread boards!
With the glue cured I grab the plunge saw again and cut the bread boards flush with the side of table top.
Staining French Rustic Coffee Table
I first apply prestain since this table is made of pine which is notorious for not taking stain evenly. I then applied Minwax performance series stain in country pine.
Final Coffee Table Assembly
I set the table top on some bench cookies and then center the base on the underside of table top. Using Z-Clips I secure the top and base together.
After staining the top, I secure the center stretchers using 1-12” screws in counter bored holes.
Go Build One!
Ready to build this French rustic coffee table with bread board ends? Grab the plans below and be sure to tag your post on instagram with #woodshopmike
If you liked this project, you’ll probably love my easy to build rustic queen bed!