How To Make A Coffee Table With Hairpin Legs

Ah…coffee tables…they’re so practical and there are so many different designs to choose from it’s pretty much impossible to find someone who has the exact same model as you. But just in case, if you really want to be unique, you could make your own coffee table by following these instructions. This DIY modern coffee table is easy to make and quite customizable if you feel like improvising afterwards.

Let’s get started and see what you’re going to need for this project. You should get a set of hairpin legs and three edges glued panels which in this case measure 18” by 48”. You’ll also need a table saw so you can make adjustments and cuts on all the pieces.

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1. Align and cut the panels.

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For starters, make sure all the panels have the same exact width. If they don’t then you can just cut a small piece off each one using the table saw to make sure they have straight edges on both sides. Once you’re done with this simple part, cut the sides of the panels at 45 degree angles so you can then work with miter joints. For the smaller pieces you can use a circular saw since it might be more practical. When you’re done here you should have two small side panels and the large top and bottom ones.

2. Sand down all the pieces.

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At this point, it would be practical to just sand down all the pieces to make them as smooth as possible. Start with 120 and then move onto 220 grit sandpaper and do this for all the sides of the panels.

3. Glue the joints.

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This affordable coffee table will be held together by either screws or nails but glue also plays a very important role in its composition. Apply wood glue on both pieces of a miter joints before connecting them and make sure the lines are straight and the angle is squared before you continue. Then you can add a few small nails as placeholders just to be able to assemble the table at this point. When you’re done with one joint, move onto the other side and repeat the process. At this point you should have a three-side section glued and ready. Let the glue dry and then add the final piece using the same process.

4. Fill in the gaps.

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Give enough time for the glue to dry on all the joints and then use wood filler to fill in all the nail heads as well as any gaps you may find in your miter joints. You want the whole surface to be smooth. When the filler is dry, sand down the wood one more time. The take a damp rag and remove all the sand dust.

5. Stain and finish the wood.

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If you want to go for a darker color on your coffee table you can stain the wood but if you’re happy with the lighter shade then you can just apply a final top coat of Polycrylic. It will act as a protective coat, making the table easy to clean and more resistant to spills and stains. Three coats should be enough. Use 300 grit sandpaper in between coats and 400 grits on the final one. Use a hand sander and follow the grain on the wood.

6. Attach the hairpin legs.

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Of course, you can choose any type of legs you want but it seems that hairpin legs work really well for this project so you can just stick with that. Place each leg 1” in from each side. Make sure they’re all placed at the same angle and in the same place so you can get a consistent look and a table that doesn’t wobble. Just drill the holes and install the screws. Believe it or not, your coffee table is now done!

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