When we got our new couch and re-arranged our living room, I realized our old coffee table didn’t quite fit the space as well. And while I always love the excuse to be able to come up with new projects & designs, I was feeling a little bummed because I LOVE our old coffee table (another one Mike made) and didn’t want to see it go. Thankfully, we had space for it in our family room, so it’s still around. The new living room arrangement seemed like it was calling for a round coffee table, and one that was a little bigger than what we previously had in there. We went with maple wood for our table, I love the light color, and the grain and knots in the wood add nice texture and give a slight rustic vibe to the piece; while the leg design adds a bit of a modern feel. Once we had our new round coffee table in, I felt like it was the perfect fit for the room! This project is a little bit more on the involved side as far as woodworking projects go, but we’ve had a lot of requests for how we did it, so sharing for those that want to try tackling something a little bit more involved.
– wood (we used maple)
– scrap 1/4” plywood
– table saw
– drill and drill bits
– mitre saw
– jig saw
– sand paper
– clear polyurethane finish
You will need a piece of wood the size that you want your top to be. We glued 3 pieces of wood together to make one piece the size we wanted (using the same technique as we did for this desk).
To cut the round top, we used a router with a base made from a scrap piece of 1/4” plywood which was attached to the base of the router by removing the router base and using the screws to attach the plywood base. The plywood base needs to be longer than half the width you want the table to be.
Use a straight bit in the router that has a cutting edge longer than the thickness of the table top.
Measure half the width of the table top from the edge of the blade in the router and make a mark on the plywood, drill an 1/8” hole at this point. Place your wood top side down on some scrap boards. Find the center of the top and put a mark. Use a drywall screw to attach the router base, through the hole you drilled, at this location.
Set the router to take a light pass 1/4-3/8” deep, lower router while running down onto the wood. Begin cutting the circumference of the table; lower the blade and repeat until you have cut all the way through. This can also be done by drawing out the circumference of the table and then using a jig saw to cut out the top.
We made our top 38” wide
To make the base, cut six pieces 1-1/2” wide by 18” long and three pieces 1-1/2” wide by 15” long.
Using a mitre saw and the 18” pieces, cut 30 degree angles from each side of the piece so that you form a point with the tip in the center of the piece. repeat with all six pieces.
Using the table saw, set the fence so that it is 3/8” from the far side of the blade, set the blade height to the thickness of your wood. Using a scrap piece of wood that is 10-12” long and a couple inches wide as a push block, cut the ends of the 15” pieces standing them on end and putting the narrow side against the fence. Make cuts on each end of the 3 pieces. Set your fence the thickness of the wood to the far side of the blade and the blade height to 3/8”. Use a push block and cut each end again. You should end up with a piece sticking out from each end that is 3/4” wide and sticks out the thickness of the wood.
Cut the square ends of the six 18” pieces. Set your table saw fence to 3/8” from the fence to the blade and the blade height to the thickness of the wood. Use a scrap piece of wood that is the same width and thickness as the pieces you are using and make cuts from each side of the board running the narrow side against the fence and using a push block. Use a jig saw or scroll saw to cut between the two saw blade cuts, this should leave you a cut out 3/4” wide and the thickness of your wood deep. Check to make sure you hav a snug fit, you may have to adjust the fence to achieve this. Once you have a good fit make the cuts on the square end of the 6 pieces.
Glue and clamp two of the 18” pieces to the 15” piece, one on each end using a square to keep them perpendicular. Repeat with the other two sets. Allow to dry. While they are drying, make 2 pieces that are around 3” by 3” by 3/8” thick, they will be used to join the legs of the table together (this can be what ever shape you want).
After your pieces have dried, set up the legs with the points together. Starting with the side that is down, glue the points where they come together and the bottom of the 3/8” piece. Push the legs tight together and place the piece to join them on top of the joint and using a nail gun pin it in place. Next pre-drill and screw, putting one screw in each leg, allow this to dry and then carefully flip the base over and repeat the process on the other side.
After this has dried, pre-drill holes through the tops of the legs to attach them to the tabletop. Sand the legs and the table top. Apply finish to legs and tabletop. Once dry, place the top on a smooth surface (top down), center the legs on tabletop and fasten with screws to attach the legs to top. For more coffee table ideas, check out our past projects here!