Building a Coffee Table

Discussion in 'Community' started by Kwyjibo, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #1
    This is for everyone out there whos kind of handy, or who would consider themselves hobbyists....

    So i'm in college and I live in a dorm, and I would like to make a table for my room. Something that we can put food on or play cards on .... well this week i'm on spring break, and I'd like to make it , but I've got no ideas for what I want exactly and what I need

    so my question to you all is can you recommend any sites or ideas for something in this situation. For both travel and space reasons it would be nice if the table was able to fold down or some how get smaller .... any responses will be extremly helpful. Thanks Kwyjibo
     
  2. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #2
    When building furniture, always plan thoroughly ahead. Think of every little detail and piece. Think how you will assemble it.
    Leave no steps or components out of this plan.

    Then, get ready for the actual project to be twice as complicated, twice as involved and twice as expensive as you planned.

    I built my own entertainment centre (oak sides, pine shelves) because I wanted a specific design that no one sells. It's three feet across but goes straight up 6 feet (best you can find comercially is about four) and the shelving is custom spaced to hold the specific stereo components, etc. I own.
     
  3. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #4
    i didn't think ikea was very compact ... and I'm looking to buidl it myself.
     
  4. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #5
    i love ikea, so i'd say good idea for that, and they flatpack them so you almost build them yourself, i know assembly isn't really building, but when you live in an NYC apartment, it's not easy to start a collection of powertools and store them away on the fire escape say.

    anyways, you could always make a table out of a car tire ;) that way you can take it with you with minimal luggage space taken up heh.

    seriously though...there are some good ideas where the table is basically slats, held together by strapping, looks good, and you can essentially roll it up, combine that with basic tubular legs, and you have a table in a bag.

    if you end up making it yourself, measure twice, cut once
     
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    Using decent 4x4's for the legs and large lag bolts it will make for easy removal and assembly. That way you can even have a second set of legs made up that you can convert the coffee table to a dinner table when you need to entertain :D

    Keep it simple and make it solid. The key is in getting quality lumber and doing the finish correctly. If you're going for wood, I'd recommend lots of layers of varnish.

    I made a cabnet/bookself that I still use. I was living in a smaller place with an L shaped stair, so I made the cabnet separate from the shelves which attached on top. Makes moving easy. I'll post a pic in a bit.

    D
     
  6. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #7
    I'm very interested in this idea, removable legs would be great for moving and putting it away if i need to. If you an shoot me a PM with a picture of the type of joint your talking about that woudl be great. Also for the next week I'm at home with a decent amount of tools around so its not really the work that bothers me, because anytime i do projects like this I learn stuff and my next project is better.
     
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #8
    Its a simple joint - all you'd need is a frame around the edges to anchor the legs. Maybe a brace at a 45 degree angle....

    The frame would be attached to the table top for support as well.

    Also something to consider is making a leaf or two if you want to make this into a dining table that you can use for a long time. The leaves don't need to be as sturdy as the frame and can be stored in a closet. You just need to know ahead of time what you want to do - its hard to make changes after you build it :D

    D
     
  8. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #9
    Hmmm, I went to scope out and compare supplies today. My only concern is that it will take up too much room in my dorm, but I suppose that can be fixed if i need to dissasemble and take it down.
     
  9. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #10
    A small, portable IKEA table that you assemble? Okay, I'm not welcome here! :)
     
  10. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #11
    its an alright idea, but part of this is building it myself and the other part is not watning to drive for liek two hours and spend too much on this project ... you know I don't want to spend too much on the table to hold my booze when I could be spending it on my booze.
     
  11. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #12
    Hmm, if you want to get cheap, just do this:

    Buy a board (about 6 feet long, by 3-4 feet wide)

    Get 4 2x4s or bigger, and measure them so they would be placed evenly in the corners of the board.

    16 nails, 4 for each 2x4. Nail them in good from the top of the board, into the 2x4.

    Sand the corners so its nice and smooth.

    Spray pain it black.

    You're done. Its a nice card table, I know a guy that has something similar.

    And its fun to not even spray paint it. Let your friends write stuff on it. He had writings from the last 3 years on it. From parties, to kickbacks, whatever. Tons of writings, fun to read.
     
  12. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #13
    Heh.

    He said cheap and I was just about to suggest he buy a sheet of 3/4" plywood, four 4x4s and sixteen nails as a joke.

    Seriously, you need to use your imagination. Build a box around the top to add stability. Water based stains & polyurethane are nice and don't stink up your place too bad. Add trim pieces for flair.
     
  13. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #14
    Well i'm digging up my own trash.

    I moved my table project to the summer. And my summer started last week.

    Table

    I took Mr. A's advice by using lag bolts to attach the frame to my bottom. The bottom was an idea I got when one of my friends ( we call him jesus) broke his chair so I discarded some of the parts and figured it was a nice and strong base I could use and it was convenient to move around a dorm room.

    So this idea is coming along nicely and I plan on staining and sealing it (the top is birch) and doing the same with that frame i cosntructed today. and then gluing the frame to the top. So this will work fine with the wheels and a table will be at like knee height but I woudl also like to make a bottom so that it was waist high, for games like taps or things like that. So a few suggestions for that would be excellent.
     
  14. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    #15
    Buy a cardtable :D

    Seriously, I'm a sewer and in the last month have made an outfit (pants and top) 2 skirts, a dress, and a purse. The only thing I'm truly happy with is one of the skirts. I'm told I'm a perfectionist so that could be part of the problem. It is hard to be a pefectionist when you aren't perfect. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #16
    i see what your saying, but the project is here to kill some time, and just be something i can constantly work on / improve.

    i should clarify something for everyone, I have no intention of buying a table.
     
  16. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    #17
    I hear ya ;)

    Unfortunately I haven't done woodworking since I was 12 and in 6th grade (that would be 22 years ago :eek: ) And I wasn't very good at it. I hope you enjoy your project! I do know the awesome feeling of creating something with one's own hands and being proud of it!
     
  17. alxths macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #18
    my coffee table consists of two speakers sitting, horizontally, on top of each other; and honestly, it's the most convenient one ive ever seen. being able to rotate the top speaker to my convenience has completely revolutionized my sitting and coffee drinking! :p

    seriously though, it works out great.
     
  18. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
  19. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #20
    You only need 2 things... Cinder blocks and MDF (or plywood)

    That's what my roommate and I did for an entertainment center in the dorm... It's relatively cheap, and you can just throw the blocks in a corner when you want the table out of the way... The only downside is that it's a bit heavy... On the bright side, it's really sturdy...
     

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  20. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #21
    If there were plans for the computer table I made a few years ago I would publish them. The thing was a brick-house, metaphorically speaking. I took a half sheet of plywood and nailed 2x4's around the perimeter, then put in more 2x4 to form slots for 4 2x4's which were legs.

    The thing disassembled easily and was incredibly sturdy.
     
  21. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #22
    making some 2x4 legs is definately an economical option i'm looking at. Thanks for the suggestions keep em' coming.
     

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