–Guest post by Jon–
For the past year or so, on our front porch we’ve been using a Craftsman-style coffee table that Morgan originally found on the side of the road. It was the perfect size and matched the house, but was not meant to be outdoors. Over time, the veneer around the edges of the table top peeled off, and water damage began to discolor and warp the wood. So I decided to just make a new table top, since the rest of the table seemed to be in good shape.
I modified the design a bit from the original table top by using wood slats, in order to drain water, instead of a solid wood surface. I started by making a frame out of 3/4×3″ boards. Using a dado blade on the table saw, I cut rabet joints on each of the end boards, where the horizontal slats would fit in. Then, after cutting rabets on each end of all of the slats, I put them into the frame and spaced them out with 1/16″ spacers that I cut earlier.
After the top was assembled, I attached a 1″x1″ frame on the underside to mount into the existing table legs.
I then stained the top. However, the color was a bit different on the top than on the legs. I actually preferred the look of the new table top, so I decided to just make new legs as well. I took a picture of the old frame and legs and went to Home Depot to get more supplies.
I cut the four 2″ legs out of a 4×4, used 3/4″ x 3″ wood for the frame, then cut 20 3/4″x 3/4″ square rods for the vertical slats at each end of the table.
Assembling the end pieces with the 10 vertical slats was a bit of a challenge because of how many small pieces of wood needed to be glued, but once those were finished, the process went very smoothly.
I put the frame together using a pocket hole jig and two screws going from the frame rails into the legs. Then I added a 10 inch wide piece of 1/4″ plywood for the bottom, since Dante likes to sit there when he’s hiding from Skinny.
Then it was on to stain and poly. I put two coats of polyurethane on everything, then an additional two coats on the table top and the legs, since they are the most exposed to the elements.
After a week of drying and curing in the basement, we have a brand new patio table that should last us a long time!