DIY Tutorial Circle Top Coffee Table

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Since we moved into our new house, we have been slowly been trying to get things in order and our spaces furnished. We finally got a new couch for our downstairs living area, and for several weeks this couch was used to hold a spare mattress that was converted into a slide for our son, Micah.

How fun is that?! Micah was turning two and we planned to have a party with a lot of people at our house. Needless to say, the mattress needed to go and we needed a coffee table for the couch to be additional seating for the party. Sabina  thought a circle coffee table would be great for this space. The birthday was a week away, and we still had a lot to do to get the house ready, but I knew if I worked quickly, I could get a table suitable for the party. So I got to it!

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Tools we used:

Miter saw

Table Saw

Cordless drill

18 gauge brad nail gun

Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System

Random orbit sander

Sanding discs – If I can stress one thing about getting materials for your projects, it would be stay away from buying sanding discs at a big box store. You will pay way too much for not a lot of discs. If you do quite a bit of sanding like I do, I always go with Amazon. You can buy a 100 pack for $20. Instead of a 5 pack for $5 at a big box store. You can get all the grits you need here.

Wood glue

2.5″ Kreg pocket hole screws

1.25″ construction screws

1″ & 2″ brad nails

Buy list:

1 – 1x6x8

1 – 2x6x10

1 – 2x4x8

3 ft circle table top (not an affiliate link)

Because of the time crunch, we purchased an edge glued 3 foot circle table top from Menards instead of building one from scratch. This saved a ton of time, and table top was pretty cheap. By all means you can build one yourself if you would like, but this tutorial is for a 3 foot diameter table. Adjust your cuts accordingly if need be.

Here we go!

Phase 1: Build the center base post

I wanted our coffee table to be 18″ tall when completed, and the table top was around 1.25″ thick. Therefore, the base needed to be 16.75″ tall. I took the 1x6x8 and cut off four 16.75″ pieces with my miter saw. Save the left over, you will use it later.

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I wanted the post to have an even width on all sides, so I ripped down two of these boards to 4″ on the table saw to compensate for the thickness (.75″) of the other two boards when putting them together. 1x6s are actually 5.5″ in width, so this would make it 5.5″ on all sides.

As a side note, it is much easier, in my opinion, to sand each piece of a project before assembling in most cases. You do end up sanding some places that will be covered up, but you dont have worry about sanding in tight crevasses or corners later.

After sanding these 4 boards down, I took the two 4″ boards and attached them to one of the 1x6s using wood glue and 1″ brad nails.

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Then, I flipped it over and attached the last board to the other side in the same way. There I had it, the center post for the table. Simple enough.

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Phase 2: Assemble and attach bottom braces

For the bottom braces, I wanted to partially mimic the look of leg braces that I used for our farmhouse table that I built for us not long ago. I cut four 14″ 2×6 pieces and cut one end at a 45 degree angle on my miter saw. Make sure to set the board vertical when cutting it for this step.

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If you cut them all perfect, the length from the flat side to the short end of the miter cut should be 12.5″. It doesn’t hurt to measure them all and cut your boards that stack on top of them to the proper length. I had to make a few adjustments because I am still working on my miter cut skills. Cut the 12.5″ boards on the end to a 45 degree angle as well.

Once all of these are cut, I took the 14″ boards and drilled pocket holes on top side going towards the flat end. Again, I sanded all of these boards before I assembled them together.

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After drilling the pocket holes, I took the remaining 1×6 from the center post and cut four 5.5″ pieces and attached them to the bottom of each 14″ 2x6s for the feet.

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Next, I attached the bottom braces to the center post using wood glue and  2.5″ pocket hole screws. I put a piece of scrap 1″ board under the bottom brace so it would be level when I put the screws in. The 2.5″ pocket hole screws stuck out into the center middle of the center post, but it doesn’t matter since that will be inaccessible once the table is put together. You can use 2″ pocket hole screws for this project too, but I didn’t have any on hand.

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After attaching all 4 bottom braces to the center post, I stacked the 12.5″ pieces on the bottom braces and attached them using wood glue and 2″ brad nails.

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Phase 3: Cut and attach table top braces

I used 2x4s cut to 14″ for the braces that will hold the table top. I cut one end at a 45 degree angle with the 2×4 laying horizontal on the saw.

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I wanted the 2x4s to be vertical because they are much stronger that way. If you dont believe me, take a long 2×4 and lay it flat, lift one end, and put some weight in the middle. You will see that it can have a little bit of flex and will bend. If you take the same 2×4 and have it sit vertically, it is very difficult to bend or flex it at all. We have a two year old who loves climbing and hanging on tables, so the table top had to have strong braces.

After cutting these to length, I drilled two pocket holes into the flat side and a few going up into the long side for attaching the table top.

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I sanded them down, flipped my table base over, and attached them to the center post using wood glue and 2.5″ pocket hole screws. I put a piece of plywood under it, to be sure I had a nice flat, clean surface to work on.

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There you have it! Your table base is complete and ready to paint, stain, or finish!

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Phase 4: Paint or stain the base and the top

I always find it easier to paint or stain a table base and a table top separately before assembling. Sabina got to work painting the base a cool charcoal color and she stained the top with Minwax Special Walnut stain.

Phase 5: Attach the table top

I laid the table top on the ground with the bottom side facing up. I then flipped the table base on it and lined it up to be centered. I marked where each top brace need to land. Then, I flipped the base back over and put some wood glue on the tops of the top braces, flipped it back on top and lined it up with my marks. Using 2.5″ pocket hole screws I attached the base to the top. I probably should have used 2″ pocket hole screws for this part because I tightened 2 of them too tight and they poked through the top just enough to make a tiny mark. I had had to back them out a little. No big deal.

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Phase 6: Finish

Using Minwax Polycrylic, I put three coats on the table top and outside edges with a light sanding with a 220 grit sanding block between coats after each coat dried.

Boom! Its done and ready to hold popcorn bowls and sodas! I just love how it turned out and I was able to finish it in time for the party! Have any questions? Shoot us a comment below! See more of our DIY furniture tutorials here!

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