This Week in the Classroom: The Simple Coffee Table

Some quick pictures of coffee tables that the kids and I built at school this fall.  We sold six of these pieces at $60 each as a fall fundraiser for my classroom.  With the proceeds, we were able to buy mounds of safety equipment, a new drill press and some VOC respirators for finishing.

This project offers a lot of customization for the builder.  The top can be sourced from nearly anywhere: old shutters, heavy duty lumbar, salvaged pine boards, etc.  Lowe’s and Home Depot sell Parson’s Table Legs which can be pressed into service, or you can buy squared lumber.

Or you can have a full woodshop and go Fine Woodworking on this one.

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You can get a SketchUp file and plans for the Simple Coffee Table after the jump.

Thank you for visiting my practice zone and project showcase.  If you wish to lend your support for this site, please like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  If you are interested in making and education, why not check out Work Notes, a curated set of articles from the web, published every week?

The Simple Coffee Table Plans:

Est. Build Time: Day+, mostly sanding & finishing.

Lumber:

  • 4 Legs from Parson’s Chair Legs or 2 36″ 1 3/4″ Square Wood Dowels
  • 4 Short Sides from 1″T x 4″W Lumber @ 13″ L (
  • 3 Aprons/Stretchers from 1″T x 4″W Lumber @ 28″ L
  • 3 Top Boards from 1″T x 6″W Lumber @ 32″ L (or you can use old shutters, cut up door panels, glass panes, etc.  Have fun with the top)

Fasteners and Such:

  • 36 – 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • Pocket Hole Plugs (Paint Quality)
  • Wood Glue
  • 80-, 120-, 220-grit sandpaper
  • Your favorite finish – (mine is thinned shellac and paste wax)

Tools

  • Circular Saw with Guide, Powered Miter Saw or Hand Saw with a Miter Box
  • Power Drill
  • Kreg Joint Jig
  • Carpenter’s Square or Speed Square & Straight Edge or Combination Square

1) Cut the Parson’s table legs or wood dowel to an acceptable length for your bench.  13″ is probably low-ish.  20″ seems too high.  But it’s your bench.

2) From 1 x 4 stock, cut the 4 short sides and 3 aprons using a circular saw & guide, powered miter saw or hand saw and miter box.

3) From 1 x 6 stock, cut the top boards to proper length.

4) Use the Kreg jig to put 2 pocket holes on each side of the short sides, stretcher & aprons.

5) Attach each side assembly together using pocket holes and screws as shown below.

Coffee Table 2 Step 1

6) Attach the aprons as shown below using pocket holes and screws.

Coffee Table 2 Step 2

7) Attach the stretcher using pocket holes and screws.

8) Arrange the top boards on the bottom assembly in a pleasing fashion.  Mark at the appropriate places where a pocket hole should go to attach the top.

8) Place the bottom assembly into the Kreg Jig and drill pocket holes in the marked spots.

9) Rearrange your top boards, show face down, on the workbench.  Place the bottom assembly on top.  Center the assembly both horizontally and vertically.  Attach bottom assembly to the top using pocket screws.

Coffee Table 2 Step 3

10) Sand and finish as desired.

Coffee Table 2 In Place

Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this week.  Thank you for visiting my practice zone and project showcase.  If you wish to lend your support for this site, please like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  If you are interested in making and education, why not check out Work Notes, a curated set of articles from the web, published every week?