How To Build An Industrial Wood Slab Coffee Table in One Day

John Malecki

How To Build An Industrial Wood Slab Coffee Table in One Day

A Simple & Beautiful Wood Slab Coffee Table Build

min read
Nov 2, 2018
 wood slab coffee table next to two chairs

One of my long-time designer clients reached out about doing a simple piece for one of his projects. Normally having products sprung upon me isn’t always possible, but I had the perfect plan for a wood slab coffee table and a free day in my schedule. I decided to go with it and gave myself the challenge of finishing this build in one day without sacrificing the quality, and it turned out pretty spectacular (if I do say so myself).

This build not only results in one stunning table, but breaks down some really key skills that you can apply to future projects of your own. Using a scrap live edge and a simple metal base, I put together this industrial wood slab coffee table in just one day and could not be more thrilled with the results. The major takeaway? You don’t need to use any crazy-advanced metal or woodworking techniques to build beautiful furniture. Check it out!

This wood slab coffee table build is sponsored by Timberland PRO. While this page contains affiliate links, all ideas are my own. For more information, check out my disclosure page.

Round Wood Slab Coffee Table


The Basic Steps in Building a Wood Slab Coffee Table

  1. Cut your wood slab
  2. Cut and lay your c-channel
  3. Cut and clean the metal legs
  4. Weld your legs
  5. Sand and stain the tabletop
  6. Assemble the table top and metal base

What You’ll Need:

  • 5’ x 5’ wood slab
  • Steel c-channel
  • Square metal tubing for legs (4 - 16’, 8- 21’ cuts)

How to Build an Industrial Wood Slab Coffee Table

john malecki routes the edge of a wood slab coffee table

Cut your Wood Slab

For this build, I started off with a 5-foot piece of live edge wood that I had leftover from a previous project. I traced out the shape and size for the wood slab coffee table and cut the rough shape with a jigsaw. One done, I routed the edge to ensure a perfectly-rounded shape, which saved me a lot of time in sanding down the road.

 john malecki lays c-channel of a wood slab coffee table

Cut and Lay your C-Channel

The problem with wood slab tables is that they inevitably bend and warp over time. To prevent this, I created a c-channel on the underside of the wood. Get this started by cutting a piece of metal just several inches short of the diameter of your table. Once cut, trace the location of the metal onto the underside of the table.

I then used my palm router to begin cutting out the c-channel so that it tucked neatly into the underside of the table. I made sure to make pilot holes and add wood anchors into the wood before adding the c-channel in so that I wouldn’t split this beautiful piece of wood while screwing it together.

John Malecki prepares to weld metal legs for a wood slab coffee table

Cut and Clean the Metal Legs

Next, it’s time to prepare your metal legs. I started by cleaning off all the metal to that it would weld and pain nicely down the road. I chose to build up the two metal squares first, followed by the connecting pieces so that I could ensure everything sat square and level. This process was fairly simple because I went with a circle shape and only had two different sizes of metal for the legs.

the welded corner of a wood slab coffee table

Weld your Legs

Industrial tables call for metal legs, and metal calls for welding. There are a lot of alternatives to traditional welding if you don’t have a solid setup - like the technique I use in this industrial side table build - but for a quick and easy project like this, classic welding was the victor.

John malecki stains the top of a wood slab coffee table

Sand and Stain the Tabletop

Once the metal base is built, it’s time to sand and stain the tabletop. If you have any cracks in your wood, it’s a good idea to dye some resin, fill in the crack, and allow the resin to dry prior to sanding and staining. This way, if you get some spare resin dried to the surface of the wood, you can easily sand it away.

I sand down the tabletop until it’s smooth then go in with a rich, beautiful stain. I started with staining the bottom of the table and moved to the top once I was done.

a dark image of a wood slab coffee table built in one day

Assemble the Table Top and Metal Base

Once the stain is dry, screw the table top to the metal base and voila -- one hell of an industrial wood slab coffee table, all completed in one day.

If you liked this build, check out some other home projects!

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

min read
Nov 2, 2018
Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!