Indoor furniture: coffee tables

20 (clipped)

Whether it’s to hold your cup, put your feet on, do the children’s homework or display your photo albums, a coffee table will do it all. It can be an extravagant centerpiece or a flat surface with legs. Either way, it will be at the heart of your living room and in this article I will show you how to make one of your own.


  • Try square
  • Marking gauge
  • Ruler/measuring tape
  • Sliding bevel
  • Hand saw
  • Chisel
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Clamps
  • Router (optional)


For the legs:

  • Four 750mm x 100mm Lengths of timber

For the table top:

  • 9mm thick sheet of MDF; lengths of floorboards, moulding

For the stretcher:

  • One 100mm length of timber
  • 4 to 8 Dowels
  • 2 Dowel markers
  • Wood glue
  • Panel pins
  • Brackets (optional)

Cad 3The legs
The first job is to mark out the legs, these consist of two frames that are in the shape of an X (right). They will be held together with a stretcher in the middle and the table top.

To make the legs, we need to mark out our halving joints. A halving joint is simply removing half of the material from two pieces so when they slot together they become flush.

The four members that make up the two frames are symmetrical. Use the dimensions on the plan to mark out the joints.

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Ciaran Hegarty

About Ciaran Hegarty

Ciaran is a woodwork and construction studies teacher in Moyle Park College, Clondalkin, Dublin. He qualified from the University of Limerick in 2005 with an Honours Degree in Materials and Construction with Concurrent teacher education. He resides in Leixlip, Co Kildare, email

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