Recycle Old Wood Into a Chic Wood and Glass Coffee Table
I hate to see good, usable wood go to waste. When an old roof was torn down, I knew I had to make use of the scraps somehow. I managed to salvage quite a bit of it to make this stunning wood and glass coffee table. The pieces that I didn’t manage to salvage I used to create a bonfire that we cooked our dinner on. One of my favorite parts of this project was that it allowed me to work outside in the beautiful spring weather. I love to listen to the birds chirp
Waste not, want not!
Tools and Materials
- Miter saw
- Scrap wood (I had wood pieces that were square, and some 2”x6”s that I used)
- Tape measure
- Wood glue
- Glass pane
- Glass cutter
- Electric sander
I had a pile of wood scraps from a roof project I had done a while back. I picked through the pile to find the most usable pieces, mostly square pieces and a few 2”x6”s. Once I had found the pieces I wanted, I cut off any unusable part and made a bonfire. We roasted some potatoes in the fire, delicious! Then, because of the weather, I had to let the wood dry a bit before I could start working with it.
Once the wood was dry, I cut it to more or less the size I wanted. I wasn’t super exact here, because I was going to cut the wood again once I planed it, I just didn’t want to plane a whole long piece of wood and then not use half of it. With the wood cut, I planed it. This makes sure that the surface of the wood is even and smooth, and removes any of the weather damage to the outside of the wood.
Then I took note of the dimensions I needed for the table I wanted to build. For the top of the table I needed to cut two pieces to a length of 48 centimeters, and two to a length of 65 centimeters. Using a miter saw, I cut these pieces and was ready to move on to the next step.
With the tabletop covered, I cut four pieces of wood to the same length for the legs and four pieces to fit between the legs under the tabletop.
I didn’t have a jig on hand to create pocket holes, so I tried something a little different. I started drilling at a slight angle, and then tilted the drill to connect the supporting pieces to the table leg. I used a rigid side grip attached to my drill to assist with stabilization, as it’s easy for the drill to move around quite a bit when drilling an angled hole. With the hole created, I added a screw and screwed them together. I did this on each leg two times, on the sides connected to the tabletop.
With the frame of my table complete, I glued the top pieces to it to create the tabletop. Then I used a few clamps to hold the pieces in place while the glue dried. I put a wood block on either side of the tabletop, which protected the wood from getting dented by the clamp. When gluing these pieces, make sure that the edges are flush, as this is the part of the table that will be seen the most. While waiting for the glue to dry, I took a moment to enjoy nature. This is why I love building outside!
Using an electric router, I removed a portion of the top boards all along the inner edges of the tabletop. This created a socket for the glass to sit in. Because routers are rounded, it created rounded edges as well. I didn’t have all the glass tools needed to create rounded edges on my glass, so I went back later and chiseled out the corners of the wood to create a square socket.
Not only was the wood used for this project repurposed, I also repurposed the glass from some old furniture that I was getting rid of. The sheet of glass was far too large for my table, so I had to cut it to size.
First, I lay it on my table, flush with the inner corner of the socket, and clamped it down. I put a piece of wood on either side to protect the glass itself from getting scratched or damaged by the clamps.
Then I repeated this on the other end, taking care to make sure that the wood I used on the other side lined up with the socket below it.
I took a glass cutter and scored a straight line along the wood block. This saved me from having to use a ruler to help me cut a straight line. The sound of the glass being scored is much like nails on a chalkboard, so if you can’t handle it make sure to wear some kind of ear protection for this part.
Once the line was scored, I removed the glass sheet and lay it on a flat surface. I placed a wooden board across one part of the glass to stop it from shattering, and snapped off the other side. If you’ve properly scored the glass, this part should be relatively easy. Please take care, glass is sharp and needs to be handled carefully to prevent injury.
As I stated earlier, once I realized that I didn’t have the tools to round the edges of the glass, I knew that I needed to square up the edges of the socket. Using a chisel and hammer, I cut into each corner to create a square edge. Once I had done this on all four corners, I dropped the glass in to make sure it fit properly.
All parts of this project need to be sanded, glass included. I sanded the edges of the glass sheet by hand. Once again, please be very careful when working with glass, especially with sharp edges.
When I was happy with the smoothness of the glass edges, I moved on to sanding the wood table. This part I did with an electrical sander, as wood is much less delicate than glass.
With the table and glass sanded, all I had to do was slip the glass into the socket and my coffee table was complete! If you want to, you can paint or stain the wood before you install the glass, but I chose to leave mine plain for the time being.
I really love how this wood and glass coffee table turned out. It’s simple yet elegant, and the design is timeless. Have you ever worked with glass? Let me know in the comments below!