Many people like to make furniture, because only in this way you can take control of the entire process of work. Of course, you can go out and buy a coffee table, but how can it compare to the one you create yourself? From material sourcing to construction and design, you can make every aspect fit your style. Coffee tables are easy to make, even if you’re just getting started with furniture making.
In this article, we will reveal the basic steps for creating this small but useful interior element on your own. So, it’s time to act!
Tools you will need:
- two boards 2.4 m x 2.5 cm x 10.2 cm;
- a sheet of plywood 112 cm x 66 cm or three boards measuring 1.2 m x 2.5 cm x 25.4 cm;
- plywood 2.4 m x 10 cm x 10 cm;
- finishing nails 5 cm;
- glue for wood;
- foam brush;
- two construction screws 6 cm;
- grinding block;
- stain or paint for wood;
- polywood finish.
Cut out two pieces of wood measuring 2.5 cm x 10.2 cm wide and up to 110 cm long. Measure the length of the board and mark with a pencil where you plan to make the cut. Use a miter saw to cut the 2.4m board to size. If you don’t have access to a miter saw, place your board on a workbench or between two saws and use a hand saw. Wear safety goggles when using power tools to prevent sawdust from getting into your eyes.
You can work with any kind of wood. If you want to save money, use pine or oak. For an upscale and durable coffee table, use maple or walnut.
Saw 3 boards of 2.5 cm x 10.2 cm to 61 cm in length. Take another 2.4 m board and cut three shorter pieces with a miter or hand saw. Make sure the edges are straight so they lie flush with the other boards. The size of the table you are making may vary depending on how much space you have.
Arrange the boards in a rectangle on the floor. The narrow sides should be on the ground. Place two shorter boards between the ends of the longer ones to form corners. Place the third board in the middle – it will form a support beam. If you want the corners to look cleaner, cut the ends of each board at a 45 degree angle before joining them together.
Nail the corners of the boards together to secure them. Use 5cm finishing nails on the sides of 110cm boards. Drive two nails into the boards at each end of the shorter pieces to hold them in place. Make sure the corners are level when you fix the boards. This will be an apron on the underside of the table so that you can then easily attach the table top and legs.
Use a 122cm x 71cm plywood sheet if you need a solid countertop. Take a single piece of plywood at least 2.5 cm thick. Make sure you use the same type of wood that you used for the backsplash so that the table has a consistent style.. Do not use chipboard as they are not as strong. Cut the board with a table saw to reduce its size.
Make a surface with several planks for a rustic rustic look. Buy three boards that measure 2.5 cm x 25.4 cm and are 1.2 m long. Place one of the boards in the middle of the apron so that it is 20 cm from each end. Mark where the edges meet with the pencil. You can use thinner or wider boards depending on how much wood you want to use.
Apply wood glue to the top of the apron and spread it evenly over the surface with a foam brush. Wipe off excess wood glue with the edge of a foam brush.
Press the countertop against the backsplash so that the overhang is 2.5–5 cm. Press the plywood sheet or medium board against the surface and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This ensures that the adhesive gets maximum coverage and adheres better. Work quickly, as wood glue can dry within 20 minutes.
Nail the countertop into place to secure it. Use 5 cm trim nails and a hammer to secure the countertop in place. Drive nails from the top of the table into the backsplash underneath – two nails at each end of the table top, and two nails into the backsplash’s middle support. Make sure the nails are firmly attached to the table surface. When making a countertop with multiple boards, glue and nail one board at a time.
Inspect the product, if you see any areas of the table deviating from the apron, drive in more nails to secure it. While wood glue will fully set within 24 hours, nailing the countertop to the backsplash will hold the pieces together so you can keep working.
Flip the table over so it’s upside down. Grasp the table ledge and lift it up. Tilt the table up and so that the apron is facing the ceiling. Carefully place the table back on the floor.
Cut the 10 cm x 10 cm plywood into four 43 cm pieces. Divide the 2.4 m piece of wood into four equal pieces using a hand saw. Make sure the ends of the pieces are flat so they can sit flat and tight. If the wooden parts are loose, use a grinder. Adjust the leg height to your desired table height.
Pre-drill four holes in each corner and leg. Use a drill slightly smaller than your screws. Place the 10cm x 10cm pieces in each corner so that the sides of the legs are against the apron. Make two holes 5 cm from the end of the apron, making sure the drill also goes into the leg. Repeat the process for the other side opposite the apron. Align the holes so that the screws do not cross each other.
Screw four 6 cm apron construction screws into each leg. Hold the screws in the drilled holes and use an electric screwdriver to secure the legs. Tighten the screws until they rest on the surface of the wood. Use darker screws for dark wood and lighter screws for light wood to better hide them.
Sand the legs if they are uneven. Flip the table right side up to see if it wobbles. If so, use coarse sandpaper. However, be careful and attentive – there is a danger of overdoing it and cutting the length of the legs too much.
Sand the entire table with a 320 grit sanding block to smooth all surfaces of your table. Treat the top, sides, legs and apron. Round the corners of your countertop if you don’t want them to be sharp. Wear a mask and goggles – sawdust can get into your eyes.
Place your table on a painting tarp so you don’t stain the floor. Apply a thin layer of primer to the surface – so the paint will adhere better and retain its color. Allow primer to dry for 1-2 hours before applying paint. Work in long back and forth motions along the grain of the wood to evenly coat the table. Let the paint dry for at least 3-4 hours before applying the second coat.
Apply a polyurethane wood finish to your countertop to protect it from moisture. Work in a well ventilated area. Use a brush to seal the wood and keep moisture out. Let the polyurethane coat dry for an hour or two before applying the second coat.