- Ideas & How-Tos
Choose Your Savings
Made from a pair of bifold doors and some square dowels, this easy-to-build coffee table can be ready for stain or paint in just a few hours.
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.
Missing anything? Shop Online
Cut 3/4-inch square dowels for the eight 14-1/4-inch-long legs (A) and the sixteen 19-1/2-inch long stretchers (B) (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Lightly sand the parts and soften all the sharp edges using 180-grit sandpaper.
Bundle four square dowels with painter’s tape, and then mark the part lengths. Cut all four at the same time to save time and increase accuracy.
Cut a scrap of square dowel 2-1/4 inches long as a guide. Glue four of the stretchers together so the top boards overhang the bottom boards by 3/4 inch and the top boards are inset 2-1/4 inches from the end of the lower boards (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Drill a pilot hole and secure them with a trim washer and a 1-1/4-inch flathead screw.
Flip the frame upside down and rest it on 3/4-inch-thick spacers. Glue and screw a leg to each corner. Drill a pilot hole and add a trim washer and screw though the leg into the lower stretcher; screw from the upper stretcher into the adjacent face of the leg.
Flip the frame over again; add the second frame in the same manner as the previous step. Build a second frame to create the second base for the coffee table.
Apply a clear finish or paint to the frames. Because you added glue to each of the joints, you can remove the screws, finish the parts, and when the finish dries, re-install the screws and trim washers for a professional look.
Remove the hardware from the bifold doors and fill the screw holes with wood putty. Sand the faces, sides, and ends smooth; wipe clean. Then stain the desired color, apply a clear finish, or paint and let dry overnight.
Add nonslip strips or pads between the frames and the doors for extra sturdiness (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).