After putting the porch on the back burner for several months, one night we finally kicked ourselves into gear and made a coffee table. The rustic look fits in well with the vibe we have going on out here.
We had all the materials on hand, but they’re not too hard to source. You can buy railroad ties at McCoys for about $10.50 per 8 foot stick. Which means the materials for this table will cost less than $30.
Our table is a bit on the smaller side, measuring 36″ long, 24″ wide and 14″ tall. The ties we had were already cut at three feet, so that was our jumping off point. Here’s how we did it:
2 – 6x8x8 railroad ties or dimensional cedar if you don’t like chemicals
8 – 10″ lag bolts, washers and nuts
4 pack of L brackets
4 – 6×8 @ 36″ (top)
2 – 6×8 @ 22″ (legs)
2 – 2×4 @ 20″ (support)
As far as construction, it was very straightforward. We cut a 2×4 at 20″ long and drilled 4 pocket holes to attach it to the leg piece (set 6″ long and 8″ high). This gave us something to drill the bolts in through.
Each hole was pre-drilled with a 1/4″ paddle bit, then the bolts were hammered through. Once they made it past the 2×4, place the washers and nuts on and tighten.
The L-brackets keep the legs from wobbling. This table is super sturdy and very, very heavy. It was built in place so we wouldn’t have to pick it up.
PLEASE NOTE: Railroad ties are often treated in creosote as well as other chemicals. They are strictly for outdoor use. If you like the look but want something indoors, you can purchase dimensional lumber (like red cedar) at a higher rate. I would not recommend using ties for anything you would eat off of or have regular skin contact with. This is a good spot to place a drink or kick up your feet. Plus it gives a functional new use to old lumber, which is always a win in my book!