Session 2 – Project WEST

Inspiration Table Picture side

Metal and Wood Coffee Table

The Project WEST Model

Session 1 – Project WEST – Metal and Wood Coffee Table

This is Session 2 – Project WEST, the crazy idea I’m working on where I work with a welding student to build a welded steel piece we can give away as a fundraiser piece, where everyone involved benefits.

I’ve been describing it as a win, win, win scenario. Here’s how it works.

I get awesome content and help promote our build, Ryan gets hours toward his trade to help with finding a job by showing his character, and the Daycare we’ve chosen will get a gorgeous piece to raise funds for the kids. Win, win, win.

Ryan Frame repair welding

A real way you can help with our build and ensure this project can continue in the future is to just read along and share it with someone you think would love it.

So we had a real slow start to our first day and I’ve had a good think about how I want this project to go.

We need to just buy new material and go with the plan already drawn out by Jen Woodhouse.

If I get really real about why I chose this design, its because one of the amazing carpenter women I follow tried out some welding! Her post for this exact metal and wood coffee table actually evoked an emotional response. I felt defeated.

“Ugh, she’s doing so well what I want to be doing. Lincoln Electric even gave her a machine, helmet and who knows what else. Why should I even continue to try?”

But that was the small me. When I read through, watched the video and confronted my own reaction – It was my self doubt talking.

And then I got inspired. How do I add to what she’s doing? How do I even BUILD on that? By using my strengths and expand on the metal component plus adding the Project WEST model for a real build!

If I put myself in her shoes for a moment, I would be stoked if someone took one of my ideas and used it in a way that enhanced both creators.

She’s not my competition. She’s my inspiration. And thats so much more powerful!

Here’s the design:

Just to recap, the goal of this project is to build something that will benefit everyone involved – That includes Jen (I say that like we are on a first name basis – maybe one day…) Be sure to show her some love by checking out what she’s doing.

Rendered drawing of the planned finished table. Session 2 - Project WEST

Click this for Jen Woodhouses printable plans including her plywood cut map.

Rendered drawing of the planned finished table. Session 2 - Project WEST

Session 2 – Metal and Wood Coffee Table

I ordered 1″ X 1″ X 1/16″ material from Cariboo Steel and Machine. From just a quick conversation, “What are you building?”, “A coffee table to donate.” They were willing to support us with a little adjustment to our steels price. Thank you for the early support!!


Metal and Wood Coffee Table rendered drawing with overall dimensions

Steel Frame 1” x 1” x 1/8” material

Metal and Wood Coffee Table steel base rendered drawing with dimensions.

Materials List:

  • 1 sheet 3/4” ‘good one side’ Fir plywood
  • 16’ of 1”x 1”x 1/8” square tubing
  • 8″ of 1/8”x 2” flat bar
  • 2 large drawer pulls + hardware
  • 2, 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ machine screws + nuts
  • Wood supplies: Wood glue. 18 gauge 1 1/4” Brad nails. Kreg Jig and screws.
  • Welding supplies: 3/32” 7018 welding rod. Various sizes of grinding discs. Sanding discs.

Session 2 – Steel base build day

While cutting material, one piece got cut too short. being secretly so excited! I’m trying to look appropriately worried while also trying to hide a smile because we get to repair it. MIG

sketch (actually use a different style in sketchup) drawing of repair.

Cleaning up and Ryan being surprised I am including time picking up material and clean up as hours toward welding. He thought welding hours literally meant ‘arc on’ time only. I laugh.

I believe its all part of welding because it’s a part of all trades. If my shop is a complete mess, what does that say about my work? Learning to take pride in and even enjoying leaving your workspace ready for the next work day or session isn’t specifically welding, but just being a good tradesperson. Very important.

Stay Awesome,


Rendered drawing of the planned finished table. Session 2 - Project WEST

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