DIY was not in my vocabulary.

It’s funny how once you reach certain milestones in your life (like hitting 40) you start seeing things differently.  Maybe because of age or maybe because so much has changed in our world since I was in my teens and twenties.

Anyway, I’ve changed careers a few times and I’ve got some new skills since then. A more recent skill is with the use of power tools. I was always the not DIY projects kinda guy, a computer guy with no use for power tools or building things that required them.  So being a noob now with power tools I’ve educated myself with the safety of using them, because I don’t want to lose any body parts while I play. 🙂

As per my last post, we currently use a 5×8 cargo trailer to camp in.  I am not one to modify anything because of the lack of tools, so my options were to look for local services that may be able to.  I found out quickly that having someone installing something, such as a vent on the roof of the trailer, can be very expensive after completed.  That didn’t include possible other installations I wanted such as a window or 2, electric, rv style door w/screen. etc…etc..  It would cost me a fortune to take my trailer somewhere to get this done.  Mind you, I’m in NJ, not too many options in terms of cheap quality work around here in regards to trailers.  I can’t justify spending thousands for that, so I skipped on the rest of the upgrades for now.  I will share tomorrow what I did to make the trailer a little more usable for summer camping.

I’ve been looking at DIY projects now for at least a year and feeling like I can do that.  My wife (Renee`) and I have been wanting to go with a rustic looking coffee table for our living room.  Lots of expensive tables out there!  So I set out to build one, but I had no tools at the time so I got some.

My first attempt at the table (some before and after staining)

Pre stain

Pre stain

Another Pre-staining

Another Pre-staining


I’ve learned a few things during my first build, one of which was to make sure my boards are straight before purchasing them.

But it turns out, character really shines with it the way it is.





It took me about 2 full days to get it completed.  And it was completed just in time for our anniversary!  My wife is very happy with the results. 🙂

Just stained

Just stained

And finally done!

And finally done!


I was a little discouraged when I finally completed it because of the wood not lining up “just right” and the cuts I made were a little off.  Once it was stained though, I have to say that’s when the character of the table really started to shine.  That rustic table I wanted to build was there, exactly how I wanted it.

So ladies and gents, introducing my first DIY coffee table (or anything ever) build at age 43.  I’m proud of these results. 🙂  The actual build (minus the tools) cost a little less than $50 with the wood and stain.  The experience I got from this is priceless, and now with more projects on the horizon!

I am not a hands on guy, so this project was a challenge for me, luckily I had followed some great instructions and didn’t have to go back to buy more wood ;-).  When I purchased the tools I needed I went for the low cost and not the bigger name brands.  I’m a beginner at this, not an everyday user of this stuff so I didn’t need to buy these tools based on a professional level.  The reviews were good so I selected the tools that worked for my budget.

Tools I used included:

  •  Ryobi Circular Saw (I bought new) –
  • Ryobi ZRJS651L 6.1 Amp Variable-Speed Orbital Jigsaw –
  • Ryobi ZRRS290G 2.6 Amp 5 in. Random Orbit Sander –
  • Dewalt DWD112 8.0 Amp 3/8-Inch VSR Pistol-Grip Drill with Keyless All-Metal Chuck (the only power tool I already had)-
  • Square layout tool (so useful! yah, I’m a noob) –
  • A couple of cheap sawhorses from Home Depot
  • 2 boxes of 2.5 inch wood screws. (got extra)
  • A small amount of stain in my wife’s choice of color.

Here’s a great resource of that I followed when I built this table.  If I did this you can too!


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About Pete

This is my blog, my way. There's a bit of everything in it, most of which I find interesting one way or another. I always keep my eye on gadgets, technology, software, site scripts, web site designs, templates, wordpress themes, wordpress in general, along with a whole barrage of other things we find here on the internet. UPDATE: My life has changed in so many ways since beginning this blog seemingly so many years ago. A majority of the history here is in technology (pre-2014) and now it's more about life. A more focused journey of myself and the ride we're all on. So if you like a little bit of this and that, then hopefully you'll enjoy the new focus here at my blog. :-)

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