I created a coffee table with a pickled white oak top and a steel base.
When my wife and I were re-decorating our living room, I decided to build a coffee table.
Our beautiful coffee table gets daily use and frequent compliments from guests.
What I Did
Pickling and finishing
I collaborated with my dad on the tabletop. By all rights he was the principal carpenter.
Professional welder James Harris constructed the steel base.
I cut foam sheets to various sizes and tried them at different heights.
Testing these prototypes in our living room helped us pick a size and height.
I hired a professional welder to make the base with one inch square steel tubing.
My dad and I cut and planed four white oak boards, then glued them together. Once the glue dried, we sanded the table top until the surface was smooth.
Our living room and adjacent kitchen feel serene and light. To match this aesthetic, I wanted to brighten the table top while accentuating its grain.
Unlike stains, pickling lightens wood with a strong bleaching reaction. Then a dilute whitewash is applied.
After bleaching, I whitewashed and sanded the tabletop. Then I finished it with walnut oil, which, unlike other oils, does not react with tannins to darken wood.
Finally, I applied a protective coat of polyurethane.