Mahogany Coffee Table

Turning an antique board of unfinished mahogany into a wonderful coffee table we'll enjoy for years to come. (With pictures!)

Father's Day last year I was wandering around the local antique mall and came across an 11-foot long board of what turned out to be mahogany. 2 inches thick and about a foot wide. It was unfinished, ugly and grey with age, had some spots, screw holes, and watermarks on it. Looked like its previous life had been a barn shelf or something… which seems a waste for mahogany, but who knows. Only $90… so of course I bought it.

After I planed off the dirty & greyed top layer of wood, its beautiful red-brown character revealed itself.

We toyed with a few different uses for the wood before finding an interesting coffee table design to model.

Took a lot of work to break down the board, including resawing sections from 2" to 1" thick for the top and slats by hand. I didn't have quite enough wood for the design I wanted, so although most of the table is from that one board, the support rails underneath the top and underneath the shelf slats are from different boards (though also mahogany).

Structural joinery is all mortice and tenon for strength. The finish is three coats of Danish Oil and two coats of water-based polyurethane, then finished with #000 steel wool to give it a soft, natural feel.

We look forward to years of use!

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