If you plan to build with your own hands coffee table you need for the living room instead of buying it already made, you have come to the perfect place. With a few simple instructions, we’ll walk you through how to build a coffee table.

If you are new to the woodworking world, building a coffee table is a great first step, as the model we are going to show you is not very complex. Once you have learned the technique you can dare with other more ambitious projects.


How To Build a Coffee Table | materials

Before start building your table, it is convenient to make a sketch which serves as a reference guide. We’ll use an hour of paper, pencil, and a ruler to sketch out our basic design.

You can consult on the Internet sketches of any dimension until you find one you like. When choosing the one you like, write down the approximate dimensions depending on the type of table you want to build, as these will depend on your space and needs.

From these dimensions, this will be how we will do the calculation of the quantity of wood that we’re going to need. It’s always a good idea to add a little more, just in case.

The list of materials you will need is the following:

  • Shingle
  • Pliers
  • Mountain chain
  • Electric sander
  • Glue
  • Screws
  • Drill

As for wood, if you don’t know which one to choose, we recommend using soft wood like pine to begin. If you want the finish to be slightly better, you can go for poplar. These two types are for indoor tables.

If instead you want to use the outdoor table, the best options are sequoia or other treated wood.


How to build a coffee table step by step

Once we’ve selected the type of wood to use, it’s time to get down to business. Here we explain how to build the coffee table step by step:

Build the table top

To build the table, we can follow two procedures: the first is to use boards, the window of which is that the board has a lower cost than a single board. Although the boards the tongue and groove are very easy to useIt is better to use spikes and an awl, as this will give us a smooth surface.

The second option we have is to use just one plank of wood. To save money, we can buy hardwood plywood.

Table setting

The second step is to cut, paste and fit with the using a few pliers the table of the table. We have to let it sit overnight

Construction of the lower table

The lower table is a simple wooden square attached to the table table and it helps to hold the legs. This piece is the one that keeps them from moving from side to side. We will first make a mark on the board a few inches from the edge. The width will depend on the specific dimensions of our table.


We will turn the table and draw a square on the brand we previously created. Next, we will cut four pieces of wood for the two pieces that will go to the front and two more for those on the sides.

Using the pliers, we will glue and adjust these pieces on the lines we have drawn in the table bottom. Can we screw them permanently or just until the glue dries.

Leg construction

We are going to cut a leg the size we want, depending on how high we want the table to be. Once that’s done, and using that first leg as a guide, we’re going to cut the other three the same size if possible, and the we will couple with pliers.

Then we will sand the legs with a electric sander; this way they will be soft and ready for fine sanding.

Leg placement

To make the legs adhere to the table, we have to turn it over and turn it over. We will place the first leg in one of the corners of the lower table. It must be placed well glued to the ends, the upper part resting against the table and the sides glued to the lower table.

Do it we apply glue to the upper part of the leg and inside the lower table, which, as we said, will be attached to the leg. We can fix the legs with an adjustment screw, and never nails, through the underside of the table and into the legs.

Check that the feet are square with the board, in a 90 ° angleand tighten the screws if necessary. We will do the same with all the legs and then we will adjust them with the pliers.

If we think it is necessary, we can put another screw in the upper part, that is, cross the board to join it with the dough on this side as well. This option is not aesthetic and we can also split the feet with the screws.

Check stability

When the glue is completely dry, we will flip the table again and we will put it on the right. We will try to shake it to check its stability. If it is very strong and stable, we will sand the table until we consider the finish to be satisfactory to our taste.

Finally, and possibly, we can apply a specific type of product for wood, such as a varnish.

Final recommendations

  • When cutting boards for the lower table, as well as the legs, it is better first cut a piece that will serve as a reference for the others.
  • When we place the screws, we have to drill a pilot hole in cabinet then screw to prevent the wood from splitting.
  • Always use screws, not nails. The screws are much stronger and we can delete them if we made a mistake.
  • Consult the wood supplier that you buy because he is usually an expert in the matter.
  • use recycled wood from the street or construction sites. It takes a little more work but protects the environment.

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