This simple modular shelf offers plenty of options for reconfiguration. By Tom Nunlist Pages 58-59 One symptom of my pervasive early 20s restlessness is that I regularly overhaul my apartment, completely rearranging the furniture and décor once a month or so. It’s not so much that I can’t settle on a suitable arrangement, but that … Read more
Take the easy way out: Find sizes without measuring.
By Robert Lang
This small coffee table is a great introduction to building furniture. It doesn’t require much material and it’s an opportunity to develop your skills. This project is sturdy, attractive and easy to build. All of the parts come from standard widths of lumber. I used poplar from my local home center, and I made the table from one 6′-long piece of 1×8, one 8′ length of 1×6 and two 8′ lengths of 1×4.
Start by gluing the top from two pieces of 1×8 and one piece of 1×6. If you are cutting the parts from 6′- or 8′-long boards, leave them a couple of inches long, then trim them to the final length after the glue has dried.
The goal during glue-up is to keep the faces of the boards aligned. Use a couple straight strips of wood below for a level work surface and, if you need to, clamp straight pieces across the top and bottom to hold the edges in alignment while the glue dries.
Let the glue dry overnight, then trim the top to length. Clamp a straightedge across the top to guide your jigsaw or circular saw to make the cut. When the top is at its finished size, set the blade of your combination square at 2″ and draw lines in from each corner on the underside of the top.
Download the PDF of this article for the drawing and cutlist:
Contemporary Coffee Table
Video: Learn a quick and easy method for finding the center of an edge with a combination square.
Plan: Download a free SketchUp model for the “Contemporary Coffee Table.”
Articles: All the “I Can Do That” articles are free online.
It’s rare that bookshelves look as interesting as the objects you display on them. These shelves are easy to build and knock down for storage. Read more