Thursday, May 23

Clean-Lined Cubby Coffee Table (Day 18)

Well, friends, you've made it to the end of the DIY Coffee Table Series. If you've hung with me this far, you pretty much rock. Thank you for being my people!

I want to end the series with a unique coffee table that's based on one of the posts in our DIY Nightstand Series. It has shallow drawers at the bottom for stashing remotes, cards, or even a small laptop (and you can choose if you want four smaller drawer or two larger drawers!). The shelf is perfect for books, baskets, or a blanket. It's a pretty simple build and we're even taking an easier approach to drawers!

You can build matching end tables here.
Check out the rest of the DIY Coffee Table Series here.

Measure twice, cut once (seriously, though). Use glue in every step (be careful to clean up any drips, because they can mess up your finish at the end!). Read through all the instructions before you begin. Use 1 1/4"" screws unless otherwise indicated. Pre-drill and countersink all your screws. Be safe, have fun, and let me know if you have any questions! Please note I have not built from these plans myself (you might be the first!), so double check everything as you go.

Shopping List:
1  -  sheet 3/4" thick plywood
1  -  1x2  @  6' long
3  -  1x4  @  8' long
1 1/4" wood screws
Optional: Kreg Jig + 1 1/4" pocket hole screws (instructions in italics)
4 drawer pulls
wood glue
wood filler
sandpaper and finishing supplies
3/4" plywood edge banding (optional)

Dimensions: 36" long x 24" wide x 17" high

Table Cut List:
(A)  2  -  plywood  @  24" x 12"  (sides)
(B)  2  -  plywood  @  24" x 36"  (top/bottom)
(C)  1  -  plywood  @  3 3/4" x 34 1/2"  (divider)
(D)  2  -  1x4  @  22"  (legs)
(E)  2  -  1x2  @  32 1/2"  (trim)
(F)  1  -  plywood  @  34 1/2" x 24"  (shelf)

Drawer Cut List:
(G)  4  -  plywood  @  15 5/8" x 10 1/8"  (small drawer bottoms)
(H)  8  -  1x4  @  10 1/8"  (small drawer sides)
(I)  8  -  1x4  @  17 1/8"  (small drawer front/backs)
(J)  2  -  plywood  @  15 5/8" x 22 1/2"  (large drawer bottoms)
(K)  4  -  1x4  @  22 1/2"  (large drawer sides)
(L)  4  -  1x4  @  17 1/8"  (large drawer front/back)

Start by building the main box of the coffee table. Attach the top and bottom (B) to the sides (A). Drill down through the top and up through the bottom into the edges of the side boards (C). Don't forget the glue! If you have a Kreg Jig, make pocket holes along the top and bottom of each side board, then install them using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

If you're planning on four smaller drawers, go ahead and install the divider (C). Center the divider with 11 5/8" on either side. Drill through the sides and bottom board into the ends and bottom edge of the divider board. If you have a Kreg Jig, make pocket holes around the sides and bottom of the divider and attach them with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

If you're opting for the larger drawers, skip this step!

Build the table base by attaching the legs (D) to the trim (E). The boards should all be flush at the top. Drill through the legs into the ends of the trim boards. If you have a Kreg Jig, make pocket holes in both ends of the trim boards and use 1 1/4" pocket hole screws to attach the legs. 

Attach the base to the table. Center the base with a 1" overhang on all sides, then drill down through the table bottom into the top of the table base. with 1 1/4" wood screws. If you have a Kreg Jig, make pocket holes along the top of the legs and trim boards. Install the base with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

Install the shelf (F). The shelf should be set up 3 3/4" from the table base (if you used a divider, the shelf will rest on top of it). Drill through the side boards into the ends of the shelf with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws. If you have a Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes along both ends of the shelf. Then install it with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

Now it's time for the drawers. Here's the thing: I DID NOT USE DRAWER SLIDES FOR THIS TABLE. I'm trying something new... but also old. Actually, the first two tables I ever build didn't use drawer slides (our coffee table and console table). Because, believe it or not, you don't always need them. In fact, many high end coffee tables (like pottery barn) don't even have drawer slides! So I asked myself why I even started using slides on every drawer and, you know what? I have no idea. I mean, sometimes they are more necessary, but sometimes... they're just not. You can save a lot of money and a lot of time by leaving them out of a project with small, lightweight drawers like the ones on this table. Plus drawer slides are pretty much the bane of my building existence and omitting them will make for a much easier build. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? Let me know!

Now, you need to decide if you want four small drawers (two on each side), or two larger drawers that can slide all the was through to be accessed from either side like this:

From my view, the main perk of the smaller drawers is that they can't slide all the way through, so you don't have to worry about sliding them too far. The biggest perk of the long drawer is that you can fit larger items (like a larger laptop or picture books). When the drawers are closed, the table will look exactly the same either way. So think about your storage needs and go from there!

We'll start with building the four small drawers:

Start by attaching two drawer sides (H) to a drawer bottom (G). Drill through the sides into the ends of the drawer bottom. If you have a Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes along all four sides of the drawer bottom and both short ends of the drawer sides. Use the pocket holes on the drawer bottom to attach the sides with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

Attach the drawer front and back (I). Drill through the drawer front/back into the ends of the drawer sides and drawer bottom. If you have a Kreg Jig, use the pocket holes in the drawer sides and drawer bottom to attach the front/back boards with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws. 

Repeat to build three more drawers. Install your drawer pulls, then slide the drawers into place with two on either side of the table (the divider boards will prevent them from pushing all the way through the table). 

To build the larger drawers, follow the same steps as the small drawers but use the following pieces: drawer sides (K), drawer bottom (J), and drawer front/back (L). You'll only need to build two drawers for this set-up.

Slid your drawers in place. You're almost done!

To finish, fill any visible holes with wood filler then sand everything down really well. This is the most important step for a professional finish! Start with a rough sand paper, then go over everything with a medium paper, then again with a fine paper. Once it's super smooth, finish it with whatever paint or stain and sealer you like. Also note that the edges of plywood will not take stain or paint as well. It's a more obvious difference with stain, but even with paint the edges probably won't quite match the rest of the table. You can usually solve this problem by applying 3/4" plywood edge banding. It's an iron-on strip of thin wood that should match the plywood. Honestly, though, I usually just roll with the regular plywood edge and it doesn't bother me. But be warned, if you're a bit of a perfectionist you'll probably want the edge banding. All hearts clear? Great. Get to it!

I love to see your finished projects! Tag me on instagram or share them on our facebook page!

Want more plans? Check out the rest of the coffee table series here and all our other building plans here!

1 comment:

  1. Can you explain how you got each dimensions