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Build your own coffee table

Are you fed up with your old coffee table and just want something new that goes with your sofa? Then I will show you here how you can achieve that with just a little money and effort.

Material Tools
Strip for fastening the table top - 4 pieces 2 x 2 x 30 cm Mitre saw
Table legs 4 pieces pine/spruce - 40 x 6 x 6 cm Cordless screwdriver
Table frame 4 pieces pine/spruce - 50 x 10 x 0.18 cm Sandpaper or orbital sander
Table top - MDF 70 x 70 x 0.18 cm Angle
Wooden dowels - 16 pieces 8 mm 8 mm drill bit
Screws - 4 pieces x 35 mm 70 cm clamp
Wood glue Pencil
Paint Centring tip


You can also choose the dimensions and the type of wood to suit your preferences—the procedure will be the same.

Steps 1-4

First of all, the table legs and the table frames are to be cut to 50 cm. The exact dimensions can be taken from the plan (plan figures 1-4). For this, I recommend the TE-SM 2131 Dual sliding chop and mitre saw.

Carpenters usually draw a triangle on a work piece to see where it goes and in which orientation. So put the legs upright and make a carpenter's mark on it as in the photo. The same goes for the frame, which can be seen in figures 2 and 3. This way you can see immediately when you look at the parts which part goes at the top and which goes at the bottom, and which side is right and which is left. 

Next mark the drill holes for the dowels. Again, please take the measurements from the plan. Tip:  Always use a sharp pencil, as milimetres count here. (Plan figure 3)

Since many people don't have drill depth stop or a depth limiter, in this case we will simply mark the drill bit with a piece of masking tape or something similar around 2.5 cm from the drill tip. This is a simple way to tell how deep you should drill. See photo step 4. 


Steps 5-8

Now all parts of the table frame can be pre-drilled. See photo step 1.

In the next step, we take some 8 mm marker tips and put them in the dowel holes of the frame parts. See photo step 2. Then the frame is placed flush in position on the table leg with the marker tips down, and pressed down hard onto the wood. Please make sure here that the edges are flush at the top, so that you don't see any air between the table top and the frame (see photo step 3). Now you can see two small drilling marks there (see photo step 4).

After all the table legs have been marked in this way, they can be pre-drilled. See photo step 5.

Now we can sand everything down. But please don't grind off the carpenter's marks! I recommend the TE-OS 18/1 Li cordless multi-sander for this.


Steps 9-12

Next we glue the frame to the table legs. Make sure to pay attention to your carpenter's marks here, so that all parts are glued in the right place. See photos step 1,2 and 3.

After everything has dried, you can sand it all once more and then paint.Alternatively, if you prefer to leave it with a natural finish, you could use furniture oil. There are no limits to your creativity and imagination here. The table top will be explained in step 12, because the MDF board still has to be primed first.

So that the table top looks visually appealing and also holds the colour better, we will round it off with a hemispherical milling cutter. See photos step 4 and 5. For example, the TE-RO 1255 E router would be suitable here.

The MDF sheet for your table top must be prepared beforehand with an undercoat or sealant. That way you will ensure that there is no discolouration and the paint will adhere better. But before we start, we will briefly sand the sheet down again. Next comes the undercoat. The corners are done first, since they are very absorbent, then the whole surface is painted. (see photos 6 and 7). The sheet should then dry overnight. Make sure at this point that it isn't too cold whilst painting. You can find the ideal temperature on the paint container.

Steps 13-14

After everything is dry, the sheet is painted. When painting, always paint lengthwise, then across, and then lengthwise again. Then we briefly smooth the sheet with 240 grit sandpaper and paint it again. You repeat this step two or three times.

Now your table top should look just as you imagined it. See photos step 1 and 2.

Now we take a thin strip and drill some holes through it. The table top will be fixed to the frame using this strip. See photos step 3 and 4.

If you have followed these steps, your table should now be finished and look like  above.

Enjoy it!

AuthorHeini Schüür
Reading time10 minutes

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