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.
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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).