You’ve read the coffee table book about coffee tables, you’ve browsed hundreds of coffee table pictures and magazines, and you already own about seven different kinds of coffee tables and now you’re looking to branch out and handcraft your own coffee table, eh?
Well, maybe you’re not that excited about coffee tables but you do love making furniture with your hands.
Maybe you’ve already tried building something like a corner bookcase on your own and it turned out pretty good and now you’re looking for a little bit more of a challenge.
You could go ahead and build a full-sized dining table if you wanted to but a coffee table is a little bit easier and it won’t take much time.
For all you hobby workshop do it yourselves out there the Coffee Table Blog has put this article together to help you construct your very own one-of-a-kind (well, everyone who follows these steps will have one too) coffee table custom built by you. Just follow these six easy steps and you’ll have yourself a brand new piece of furniture.
It should only take a few hours so let’s get started.
Before we get started with the steps you’ll need to gather all of the necessary tools. You’ll need to cut a bunch of wood at different lengths to make the legs, top rails, tabletop, corner supports, fillets, and coach bolts and you’ll have to go out and buy yourself some wood screws.
Materials and Measurements
Here’s a list of all the stuff you need:
• (4) 50mm x 50mm (2” x 2”) wood slabs for the legs.
o For length make sure all (4) are 16 inches.
• (4) 100mm x 40mm (1.5” x 4”) wood pieces for the top rails
o For length cut (2) at 37 inches and the other (2) at 16 inches.
• (1) 20mm (3/4”) slab or board
o For length it should be 2ft by 4ft
• (4) 100mm x 50mm (2”x 4”) wedges for the corner supports
o Cut all of them to be 6 inches long and angle the ends to 45-degree angles.
• (2) 25mm x 25mm (1”x1”) pieces to serve as the fillets
o Cut (2) of them to 6 inches and the other two at 28 inches.
• For the coach bolts you’ll need (4) 6-inch washers and wing-nuts
• You’ll need about (30) wood screws or so, all of them about 1.5 inches long and then you’ll also need to pick up about 16 wood screws that are 2.5 inches long.
Now that you’ve collected all of the necessary materials and have your woodworking tools ready, it’s time to get to work. Here’s what you need to do, step by step:
Six Easy Steps to Build a Coffee Table
1. Cut all of the wood pieces to the proper measurements and make sure that the lumber widths and thickness match up. Just stop by your local hardware store and show them the above list and you will be able to get what you need cut out, most of those cuts are common sizes.
Choosing the right wood for your furniture is a personal choice. The color and texture of the wood are what is going to give the foundational style to your piece. Choose wisely and don’t get carried away. Some woods will look best without being painted so if you are going to paint your wood, decide at this step.
2. Flip the tabletop so that it is upside down on a flat even surface. You can also prop it up on stools or chairs if you have to but that’s not really necessary. Place your top rails on the underbelly of the tabletop so that they form a rectangle.
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Drill some screw holes into your fillets so that they can attach both to the tabletop and the top rails. Now you’ll have to lay the fillets down against the top rails so that they will support them as the tabletop sits on them. With your wood screws and a handy screwdriver, screw down the fillets to the tabletop and then screw them to the top rails.
3. Place your corner supports against the top rails and screw them into place. You’ll want to have four corner supports for each corner. It should look like an upside-down trapezoid.
4. Take a chisel and slowly edge out one side of each of your table legs. You want to go about 10mm deep with the chisel so that the table leg will fit snug into the corner slots we built for the table.
5. Attach the legs to the top rails with some more wood screws.
6. Stand the coffee table upright and decide whether you want to paint or stain it. Your work is almost complete. If you decide to paint it, go out and buy some nice paint or stain and then come back to work on your coffee table. Otherwise, you’re all done.
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Go put your brand new coffee table in front of your sofa and have a relaxing drink. Your work is complete, now you just have to wait for someone to come home and let you know what they think of your handcrafted coffee table. Good luck.