Introduction

This rustic coffee table is not only easy to build but it's made entirely of upcycled materials. You can build this table in an afternoon and with some careful planning it can be almost free!

Step 1

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Find a Stump

Locate a 30-42" diameter 8-10" depth tree trunk from a tree trimmer or clearing company. If you are cutting the piece yourself, chalk two parallel lines around the trunk and use a chainsaw to cut around the perimeter. The straighter you can make this cut, the less work you will have later. Be sure to use a sharp blade and the proper personal protection equipment. In our case, we cut a slice off a lightning struck poplar.

Step 2

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Dry It Out

Allow the slice to dry for several weeks in a warm dry location. Be sure to raise the piece off of the floor to allow airflow and keep mold from forming on the bottom. The slower it is allowed to dry, the less cracks will form in the surface.

Step 3

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Goodbye Bark

Use a sharp chisel to separate the bark from the wood. Start by removing a small section.

Step 4

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Strip the Bark

Then attempt to peel the remaining bark off in large pieces using the chisel and a pry bar.

Step 5

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sand It Down

Use a level or straight-edge across the top to locate any high spots. Next, use a hand planer to slowly flatten both sides in small increments. If the slice was cut well, there won't be much material to remove.

Step 6

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Smooth It Out

Starting at 80 grit, sand the top side with an orbital palm sander. Be sure to consistently move back and forth over the surface to prevent creating low spots. Use progressively finer discs until the top is evenly smooth.

Step 7

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Embrace Mistakes

In our case, there were two particularly deep chainsaw blade marks that were left to add character to the finished table and help tell the story of how it came to be.

Step 8

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Pick Table Legs

Plan out your table legs. We used salvaged window sash weights because they were an interesting upcycle, were the right length, added to the character of the piece, and we happened to have a lot of them!

Step 9

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Welding

Because we wanted V-shaped legs, pairs of legs were welded at a 45 degree angle. If you choose this arrangement, go slow as cast iron will crack if heated too quickly. You could also elect to install the legs straight and skip this step.

Step 10

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Smooth the Joints

If you welded the legs, use an angle grinder to remove slag and smooth the joint.

Step 11

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Photo By: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Drill Holes

Next, drill 2" deep holes with a paddle or forstener bit sized to the diameter of the legs. Since we wanted the legs at an angle, a guide block was made to guide the drill consistently at each hole.

Step 12

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Secure the Legs

Mix two part epoxy and put a teaspoon sized amount in each hole immediately before inserting the legs. Make sure each leg is fully installed into each hole so the table will be level. Let the epoxy cure before turning the table over.

Step 13

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Finish Up

Finish the table by applying two coats of sealer of your choice to the tops and sides. Lightly sand in between coats with 480 grit sandpaper to ensure an ultra smooth finish.