You got this: Build a Coffee Table
List of materials

List of materials

To be able to do this, the complete assembly instructions with all the materials and tools necessary for the construction are available by clicking on the link. You can also watch the step-by-step video instructions from our PARKSIDE workshop. You can do it!
Coffe table tutorial

The video tutorial

How to build a coffee table

Watch the video and find out how easy it is to build a coffee table for your living room. Or follow the step by step instructions below.

You got this wit PARKSIDE!

PREPARATION

Step 1

Mark out boards

Draw out all of the components on the boards. Keep the 45° mitres in mind while you’re doing this. They extend the components at each end by the thickness of the board. 

Step 2

Cut boards to size

Cut the boards to size. To do this, use your bench or hand-held circular saw. With the hand-held circular saw, use a straight wooden batten as a guide and secure it in place with two screw clamps.

Step 3

Make mitre cuts

Set the angle of your hand-held circular saw to 45°. 

Important: 
•    Always disconnect the mains cable before adjusting the mitre on the hand-held circular saw.
•    Use your wet-dry vacuum cleaner to prevent any build up of dust.
•    Do not sand the cut edges, as this will provide rough edges for gluing.

Step 4

Shorten square-edged timbers

Use the multifunctional sliding compound mitre saw to cut the table’s feet and L-profiles to the correct length.

Step 5

Cut L-profile battens to size for the sides

On both ends of the square-edged timber piece, draw two lines 18 mm away from the same corner. Now cut into the wood 18 mm deep using the bench circular saw. This will create the perfect corner trim. 

Tip: Saw on the side of the line that will be thrown away afterwards!

feet

Step 6

Table legs

You can buy the feet ready made or turn them yourself. In both cases, you need to drill a hole in the top for the wooden dowels. This is where the foot will be attached to the table later. 

Tip: Saw a semi-circular section out of a piece of leftover wood. It should be as big as the top end of the table leg. You can then use it to clamp the round foot onto your bench drill. This will help you to position the drill hole exactly in the middle of the foot.

Inner box frame

Step 7

Smooth surface

Before assembling the table, sand all areas of the boards that will be visible later with a random orbital or orbital sander using 180 grit sandpaper. Always place the machine fully flat onto the wood and work in the direction of the grain. 

Tip: Connect your wet/dry vacuum cleaner to the sander and wear a dust mark

Step 8

Basic assembly table

You will need plenty of room to glue the boards. Just get two 3 m long square-edged timbers and lay them on two trestles as a base.

Step 9

Helpful tip for assembly

To glue the inner framework, use adhesive tape on the outside to join the parts at each end. Put four strips lengthways and one strip across. This will hold the boards together without a joint. 

Tip: Get someone to help you to turn the joined boards over.

Step 10

Gluing

If your coffee table is made of hardwood, you need to apply the glue on both sides. For softwood, just put it on one side. A thin line of glue in the lower third of the V-joint will suffice. 

Tip: Wipe the surfaces with a duster before applying the glue. Be quick with the gluing, because the glue will start to set after just 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 11

Inner box frame

Once all necessary surfaces have been glued, fold the boards in one at a time by 90° to form a box. Fix the final corner in position again using two strips of tape. Then stabilise each corner with four screws. 

Tips: Be sure to pre-drill the screw holes and countersink them to fit the screw heads. If any glue oozes out, wipe it away immediately with a damp cloth

Final assembly

Step 12

Outer casing

You can now glue the boards for the outer casing onto the inner box frame. The outer casing protrudes 2 cm beyond the inner box frame. The order: Start with a long side. Then follow with two L-profile pieces. Turn the box frame over and glue on the remaining L-profile pieces and the second long board. Finally, glue both small side boards onto the inner box frame. How to do the gluing: Apply a thin line of glue about 2 cm from the edge of the surface. Then add a second wavy line of glue over the rest of the surface. 

Tip: Be quick, because all of the parts need to be in the right place within 10 minutes! You can still make small corrections though with a piece of wood and careful blows of a hammer.

Step 13

Get the box into shape

Fit a band clamp around the carcass to hold the glued parts in place while they dry. Screw clamps will also press the inner box and outer casing together. 

Tip: Place small pieces of wood between the furniture and clamps to protect the surface. Just hand tighten the clamps to begin with. The pressure can be built up gradually. Once the glue has set (refer to manufacturer’s instructions), remove the band and clamps

Finetuning

Step 14

How to saw the groove

Take your hand-held circular saw and set it to a 45° angle. Fit the parallel stop. Saw a 2 mm deep groove in the glued joint of each L-profile piece. 

Tip: Place the carcass on a low surface to make it easier to guide the saw.

Step 15

Fit the feet

Add a little glue onto both ends of the wooden dowels. Insert them into the drill holes in the feet. Then insert the feet into the drill holes in the carcass. There be no visible joint. 

Tip: Do not move the table legs while the glue is setting

Step 16

Sand the surfaces

Run your sander (orbital or random orbital sander) over the wooden surfaces in the direction of the grain using 180 grit sandpaper. If you want to, you can then do another fine sanding with 240 grit sandpaper afterwards. The board edges are best sanded by hand. 

Tip: Your wet/dry vacuum cleaner and a dust mask will protect you from breathing in unhealthy dust.

Step 17

The finish

Put on rubber gloves and apply a generous amount of wood oil. Spread it over the surface with a paintbrush or cloth. Then leave it to soak in according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Any excess oil can be removed with a lint-free cloth. 

Tip: Place the cloth in an airtight container or a bucket of water afterwards as it could ignite spontaneously

Finished. You’ve done it!

Well done, your coffee table is a real masterpiece! 
There’s just one last step to complete: tidy up your work area and give your tools a thorough clean. That way, they’ll also work perfectly for your next project.

And now it’s time to get the popcorn in the microwave and put your feet up!