Monday, May 20

Modern Plywood Coffee Table (Day 15)

This coffee table has a modern style that almost looks like a sculptural piece of art right in your living room! But it's not all about the looks - it's actually functional as well. Each leg forms a U-shape that is designed to hold books or magazines right where you need them! Plus it's another easy build that's great for beginners!

Check out the rest of our DIY Coffee Table Series here!

Once you build the two leg sections, you can position them any way you like to change the look of the coffee table. I've drawn the plans with one leg facing in and one facing out, but you can also face both legs in under the table:

Or face them both out:

You can even go with a U-shape leg on just one side and a plain, straight leg on the other! Ready to give it a try?

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" plywood
1 1/4" wood screws
Optional: Kreg Jig + 1 1/4" pocket hole screws (instructions in italics)
wood glue
wood filler
optional: plywood edge banding
sandpaper and finishing supplies

Dimensions: 41 3/4" long x 24" wide x 15 3/4" tall
Dimensions with both legs in: 36" long x 24" wide x 15 3/4" tall
Dimensions with both legs out: 47 1/2" long x 24" wide x 15 3/4" tall

Cut List:
(A)  2  -  plywood  @  24" x 15"  (legs)
(B)  2  -  plywood  @  24" x 5"  (base)
(C)  2  -  plywood  @  24" x 10"  (trim)
(D)  1  -  plywood  @  34 1/2" x 3 1/2"  (support)
(E)  1  -  plywood  @  36" x 24"  (top)

Start by attaching a leg (A) to one side of a base (B). Drill through the outside face of the leg into the edge of the base with 1 1/4" wood screws. Then attach a trim board (C) to the other side of the base by drilling through the trim into the edge of the base. If you have a Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes along both edges of the base board on the side that will be the bottom. Use the pocket holes to attach the leg on one side and the trim board on the other. 

Repeat to build a second leg section. Or if you only want the U-shape leg on one side, just cut a second leg board (A) and don't attach anything else to it.

Use the support board (D) to connect the two leg sections. It should be centered with 11 5/8" on either side and flush with the top. Drill through the leg boards into the ends of the support board with 1 1/4" wood screws. If you have a Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes along both ends and the top of the support board. Use pocket hole screws to attach it to the leg boards.

Attach the top (E) by drilling down through the top into the legs and support board with 1 1/4" wood screws. If you have a Kreg Jig, add pocket holes along the top of each leg, making sure the holes are on the side that will face in under the table! Use those pocket holes along with the holes you made along the top of the support board to attach the top with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

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!

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