Coffee Table

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Project by Uriel7 posted 07-09-2011 02:14 PM 4725 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a friend ask me if I could make a coffee table and this is what I made. I started off with some 4×4 posts and 2×4’s directly from a local saw mill so my pieces are true sizes (4×4 really equals 4” by 4” in dimension). This actually took me a long time because I hand ripped the table top from extra 4×4’s and then I hit a long holiday shut down. Regardless, I wanted to have the table legs incorporated into the table top. The rails’ tenons were simply the lower half of the 2×4 making it effectively 2×2 and then mitered to fit the corner.

This is a finished end of one of the rails. I mitered the rails by hand by sighting along exterior edge as my main reference and taking the cut really slow and easy on my all purpose hand saw.

This is a leg half finished that can only fit one of two rails. Having a chisel/rasp combination was worth its weight in gold at this part. Until this project, the rasp on my chisels annoyed me a lot, but now I see their use. It was really nice to get a good tight fit.

Here is one corner of the coffee table being glued up. You can see how the mitered tenons mate up. It is a whole lot easier gluing it upside down.

The coffee table frame all glued up and assembled. This is extremely strong and rigid and way over kill for strength considering it is just a coffee table.

The table top has been fitted to the frame with two cleats holding it together underneath. I made a slight miscalculation in my coffee table width that gave me a gap that was too small to cut another piece and too large to really ignore, so I split the difference and found out that the lengthwise gap actually helps to keep pencils and pens from rolling off.

The magazine rack was really rushed and one thing that I wasn’t really proud of. It was a request from my friend that I totally forgot about until about an hour before picking up the table, so I whipped up a really simple and weak magazine rack.

9 comments so far

View Skylark53's profile


2862 posts in 4113 days

#1 posted 07-09-2011 02:32 PM

This is certainly a stout looking table. If its ever retired from the coffee table assignment, it could easily qualify for the beginnings of a work bench. I know you had fun with the joints-good project.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4103 days

#2 posted 07-09-2011 03:37 PM

Your approach to incorporating the rails into the legs is an interesting one. I bet it would look even more striking if you were to use two contrasting woods, one for the mitered aprons and another species for the dadoed legs.

As Rick stated, this certainly looks like a stout, heavy-duty coffee table.

Welcome to LumberJocks!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View EPICwoodwork's profile


16 posts in 3706 days

#3 posted 07-09-2011 04:50 PM

Nice work! I like the joinery.

-- Royce, Iowa

View Uriel7's profile


24 posts in 3566 days

#4 posted 07-09-2011 04:55 PM

Thanks. Contrasting woods would be a good improvement. I’d like to apologize for some of the pictures being so big and unclear. This was my first project write up. I’ll try to edit it or at least keep it in mind for my next project posting.

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4517 days

#5 posted 07-09-2011 05:50 PM

nice work – thanks a bunch for the detailed pictures! picture quality is totally fine – the main thing is showing how it went together :-)

View JRL's profile


104 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 07-10-2011 03:28 PM

Great project for a first entry. I didn’t realize who was commenting on my blogs until I searched for your home page!!
Really looking forward to future posts.
Keep tooling up!

-- Jay in Changsha

View rseabrease's profile


55 posts in 4143 days

#7 posted 07-15-2011 05:16 PM

I loved the simplicity in your design and your great craftmanship in creating this coffee table. You did an excellent job!!

-- Richard

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26059 posts in 4158 days

#8 posted 09-15-2011 01:30 PM

Uriel, nice job on that coffee table with only the hand tools you have. That is a very strong design!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View woodworkfkdn's profile


296 posts in 558 days

#9 posted 10-03-2019 08:33 PM

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