by Bart Bajda

Whoever said good looking furniture had to be expensive was a fool.  This series of posts will prove just that by showcasing furniture designed and built by me using readily accessible materials that can be found in most of your common hardware stores. 


Volume 1 (many more to come) features a coffee table with a wood top and waterfall edge.  The ends are tapered to reveal the steel frame below.  A glass shelf sits below for additional storage. 


The wood top and end are made from standard 2x4 studs glued together and doweled through at each end and the corner for a perfect alignment.  Now I understand pine is soft and dents fairly easily, but let’s be honest, I don’t know anyone who hacks away at frozen meat on their coffee table.  The steel frame is standard 3/4" steel angle cut to size, drilled, and held together with machine screws and nuts.  The frame was painted black and lightly sanded to reveal exposed steel at the edges.  The lower shelf is made of glass panels I had recovered for free from a local department store closing.  To prevent rattling and provide a little more protection, the glass rests on a rubber weather strip, typically used to seal windows, adhered to the lower frame. 

Now to prove my point, I’d like to give a material cost breakdown for this project.  Some people won’t factor in the miscellaneous glue, screws, etc. but for arguments sake I’ve tried to include every little bit not including the tools and equipment.  However, I will add that no heavy-duty commercial grade equipment was used as this was all done in my 12’ x12’ Philadelphia row home backyard. 

Cost Chart.jpg

*Glass can be substituted with acrylic or polycarbonate panels found in any common hardware store.


Bart is the Toner Architects 2019 axe-throwing champion.