I received these timbers in the summer and they have been taking up a lot of room in my shop. I decided to use a few of them to make a new coffee table for my living room. I was limited by the lengths of timber and came up with this design that gave me a really chunky looking table while minimizing the waste. I wish the table could have been a little wider, but overall I am happy with the design and it looks great in place. Estimated weight of the table is 175 pounds.
The wood is douglas fir and it was destined for the fire pit. These are leftovers from a new building that was constructed at a nearby ski hill.
I cut the timbers to length using a beam saw from my friends at Windsor Plywood Sherwood Park. If you're local, check them out!https://www.windsorplywood.com/location/sherwood-park/
I got the sides of the pieces parallel to each other with some hand planing. They're not perfectly square, but them butt up to each other quite nicely. I then drilled some 3/8" holes to accept some dowels for alignment while gluing. There is so much surface area for the glue that the dowels aren't needed for strength. I drilled all the way through one board into the board under it so the pins would be perfectly aligned and you can't see them from the outside edges.
Anywhere that there was a check (crack) I stabilized it with a Dutchman (bowtie). I used my X-Carve to cut out a template and the Dutchmen. I roughed out the holes with a flush trim bit in a router and squared the corners with some chisel work. All checks, top and bottom, were stabilized so this thing is solid now!. The Dutchmen are made out of cherry.
I smoothed the top and sides a little. Not too much since I wanted a unique look. Then I flipped the top over, marked out where the base would sit and routed a shallow socket so the top/ base can mate up and not slide around.
After a lot of sanding to get everything smooth and reduce the risk of splinters I applied 3 coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. It's an oil based finish that stinks to high heaven and looks amazing. I will also apply a little Briwax in a month or so once the finish is completly cured.
I can barely lift the top by myself so I don't have any fears of it floating away. It's just held in place by the pull of the earths gravity.