Our first project!
We used the "Industrial Style Coffee Table as seen on DIY Network" plans and simply added a bottom shelf. This required an extra 2x2 bracer (same cut as top bracer) and 8 more 1x4s, cut slightly smaller than the top 1x4s in order to have them sit flush with the bottom 2x2s. The table is all pine.
We spaced the bottom shelf boards roughly a half inch apart (give or take - it's "rustic"!) and screwed in from the bottom just like the top boards.
On the top shelf, we used 3 coats of Minwax Natural stain, and followed up with 3 coats of Minwax Satin Poly. We sanded these after attaching to the frame in order to achieve a level surface. We started with 80 grit, then 120, then 150. We then used 220 in between coats of poly. The result is a smooth, but not store-bought smooth surface, which we think works well.
We didn't spend as much time on the bottom shelf since they'll be mostly storing items, giving them just a quick 150 sand prior to 2 coats of stain and 2 coats of poly. Finally, we nailed in some plastic feet to keep it about a half inch off the floor.
All in all, being our first project, and going beyond what the original plans called for, it took us a few weeks to complete, working on it mostly on weekends and here and there in the evenings after work. We love the finished project and it works really well in our living room!
-Dan and Beth
Satin Poly (Minwax)