How to Build an Occasional Table

Make a cube-shaped coffee table that doubles as a storage piece in four simple steps.

Materials and Tools:

1/2-inch birch plywood
1 x 4-inch lumber
1/2-inch and 1-inch decorative molding
finish nails
hammer
wood glue
wood for cleats

Steps:

1. Cut the plywood into sections: four sides, a top and a bottom. (The featured project's dimensions are 20 inches high by 20 inches wide, requiring a 24-inch square for the top.) Glue and nail the box sides and bottom together using a butt joint (one board butting into another). To help hold the pieces of plywood together, use small cleats attached to the inside of the box.

2. Trim the top and bottom of each side with mitered 1 x 4's. To create a raised panel, add 1 x 4 verticals to the outer edges of each side, butting the edges to the edge of the plywood. Use the 1/2-inch decorative molding to trim the outside corners of the box.

3. Use the 1/2-inch decorative molding along the inside edge of the inner panels — this creates the illusion of a raised panel edge without a lot of steps. To finish the piece, use 1-inch decorative trim around the perimeter of the top and bottom of the entire box.

4. Cut 1 x 2 cleats to the inner dimensions of the box and attach them to the underside of the top piece. This will fix the top to the table and prevent sliding yet allow easy entry to the storage space inside.

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