Are you struggling for ideas for your next woodwork project? Do not want to attempt anything too big or too involved? Here is an idea you can get stuck into over the weekend.
The Oak Beam Coffee Table
For this easy woodworking project there will be no screws, nails, joints or glue! The measurements for this project do not have to be exact, simply adjust the measurements given here to your own preference. The materials you will need for this idea are four meters of rough cut 120mm x 180mm kiln dried oak. This can be sourced quite easily from most lumbar yards, if you shop around you will get a pretty good deal. If possible get the lumbar yard to cut the oak into four equal one metre lengths.
From one of your one metre lengths cut two 430mm lengths. Pick one 6 inch side on each your two 430mm lengths and measure 25mm in from both edges and draw a line. What we need to do now is make a cutout on each of the lengths 25mm deep between the two lines. The best way to achieve this is with a router but can also be done with a circular saw set to a 25mm depth by making numerous cuts across the timber and finished with a chisel.
Once you have your cutouts, place the two 430mm lengths on the floor roughly two feet apart and lay your three one metre lengths across them sitting in the cut outs. Arrange the one metre lengths so they have a small equal gap between them. Because of the weight of the oak beams no fixing is needed. To keep the beams from moving a small wedge or dowel can be pushed into the gaps, but this is not really necessary.
To finish the oak use a belt sander with a medium grit belt. Try and finish the bottom of the cutouts to a reasonably high standard as this ensures your beams sit square. My personal preference is to give the freshly sanded oak two coats of danish oil which enhances the oak grain. The end result is a rustic oak coffee table, which in the right setting looks very appealing.
Source by Rick Bergen