Build a Coffee Table

Two simple benches are nested together to create a double-thick, sturdy coffee table.


Tools and Materials:

four 8-foot long 2x12 boards (biscuit joined to create two 22-1/2” wide planks)
wood glue
biscuit joiner and biscuits
painter’s tape
table saw
power sander
pipe clamps
stain, paintbrushes, and poly-acrylic finish
power drill with 1-3/4” pocket screws and 2” square drive screws
pocket hole jig with enclosed screw bit
counter-sink bit
wood grain, self-adhesive cover caps


1. Create two wide planks by biscuit joining two 8-foot 2x12s. Use a biscuit cutter to cut the insert on the end of the planks. Place glue in the seam, then insert the biscuits, and use a pipe clamp to hold the two boards together while the glue dries, approximately four hours.

2. Cut the planks to size using a table saw to the following measurements:
-  one at 20” x 39” (outer top)
-  one at 20” x 36” (inner top)
-  two at 20” x 17” (outer sides)
-  two at 20” x 15-1/2” (inner sides)

3. Sand, stain and finish all the outer faces of all six pieces. Place painter’s tape over the sections of the table that you will be gluing. The finish can prevent the glue from adhering properly.



4. Create the smaller (inner) table first. Drill pocket holes on the outside legs of this portion of the table, that way when the tables are joined, the pocket screws will be hidden between the two tables. Spread glue over the underside of the table where you will be placing the legs. Then use 1-3/4” pocket screws to attach the legs. Use pipe clamps to hold the legs in place while the glue dries.



5. After the smaller table is built, create the larger table following the same steps as above, except with this table, drill the pocket holes on the inside of the legs.

6. Spread glue on the outside of the smaller table and the inside of the larger table. Use a mallet to tap the larger table into place on top of the smaller table. Wipe up any glue with a damp rag. Clamp the tables together while the glue dries.

7. Screw the tables together from the inside bottom. First, drill the pilot holes with a counter-sink bit. Then attach the tables together with 2” square-drive screws.

8. Cover the screws with the wood grain, self-adhesive cover caps.

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