Introduction: Aesthetically Pleasing Gaming Coffee Table

After completing my TV Ledge, AV Equipment Shelves, and Media Shelves... I needed one last piece of furniture to complete my living room entertainment extravaganza.  I needed somewhere to store all video game accessories like controller, headsets, etc.

We had this pretty cool looking coffee table that we liked.  We also had end tables that matched it.  After doing some calculations I figured out a way to use the table and fulfill my gaming needs.

While you might not have the same table, you could fairly easily reproduce what I have done here from scratch.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools:
Pencil
Tape Measure
Dremel
Hair Dryer
Iron
Towel
Flat head screw driver
Miter Saw
3" C-Clamp
Drill
Bar Clamps
Table Saw
Sawhorses
Kreg Pocket Screw Jig Kit
Square Driver Bit
Sanding block
Metal Chop Saw
Grinding wheel

Materials:
Paper (for design and sketching)
Glass Hinges and Pulls
Masking Tape
2' x 4' x 1/2" MDF Board (For cubbies)
2' x 4' x 3/4" MDF Board (For new base)
150 Grit Sandpaper
1 1/2" Coarse Pocket Screws
Glass Frosting Spray Paint

Step 2: Original Table and Design

Tools:
Pencil
Tape Measure

Materials:
Paper (for design and sketching)
Original Coffee Table

We got this table several years ago from a European style furniture store in the area.  The table had two platforms.  The one on top has a glass insert the one on bottom was a solid piece.  The are laminated particle boards.  The glass was just resting in the opening on some coated steel pegs.  The legs were hollow metal tubs with threaded steel rod on the inside.

To keep the aesthetics of the table I was going to use the bottom platform to build the sides of the box that was to hold all the gaming accessories.  It worked out perfectly to cut it into three boards at 8" high each (accounting for blade cutting loss).  This just happened to be the same height of the second platform, so the over all height of the table was going to stay the same.

The cubbyholes are 4" high and about 8" long by 10 3/16" deep.  This got me 10 cubbyholes (I currently have 9 consoles hooked up).

As you can see from my original designs I was going to bevel cut the edges of the box and notch out the bottom for the sides to rest on the bottom MDF board.  After I figured out how to do pocket screws, I just decided to pocket screw it all together.

Step 3: Deconstruction

Tools:
Tape Measure
Dremel
Hair Dryer
Iron
Towel
Flat head screw driver

Materials:
Glass Hinges and Pulls

I started by test fitting the hinges and pulls.  The first thing I realized is that they were not going to fit without removing some material from the top board.  I cut the edging that was on the inside of the table (where the glass was) and then heated it up with the hair dryer and pried it off with a flat head screw driver.  I then had to Dremel out the wood just a little bit more to fit the hinges.  To make sure there was enough support I decided to put in three hinges.

Next I needed to remove the edging from the long edges of the board (but leave on the end caps).  The Iron + towel served this job much better than the hair dryer.  There was a little over hang from the edging on the short side that I just zipped off with the Dremel.

Step 4: Cutting

Tools:
Pencil
Tape Measure
Miter Saw
Table Saw

Materials:
Masking Tape
2' x 4' x 1/2" MDF Board (For cubbies)
2' x 4' x 3/4" MDF Board (For new base)
Bottom board of Table

I cut the MDF and Bottom board of table down to size just using the table saw and fence.  Make sure to use Masking Tape.  Would actually be better to use the blue painting tape, but I did not have any at the time.

For cutting the one particle board in half and the cubbyhole dividers I used the miter push on the table saw.  The cubbyhole dividers I decided to do an overlapping joint (not sure what it is actually called).  I just used the miter push then would slide the board down 1/8" and make another pass.  Did this until it was the correct width.

Step 5: Pocket Screws, Pocket Screws, POCKET SCREWS!!!

Tools:
Pencil
Tape Measure
Drill
Table Saw
Sawhorses
Kreg Pocket Screw Jig Kit
3" C-Clamp

Materials:
2' x 4' x 1/2" MDF Board (For cubbies)
2' x 4' x 3/4" MDF Board (For new base)
The four cut particle board pieces

Ok, so a went a bit nuts with the pocket screws.  There are 76 of them in this table... I really did not know how far to space them apart, and I was not going to be able to glue the wood because of the laminate.  Doing this many in the future I would get one of the nicer Kreg sets.  I will save that for next time.

The Kreg Jig I got was pretty easy to use.  It comes with directions so you know to put it for what thickness material you have.  I was going from 3/4" MDF into 1" Particle Board, or 1" Particle Board to 1" Particle Board.  The one modification I would have to the directions is... it says to drill in one smooth motion.  The problem that I see with this (actually my brother clued me into it) is that the bit heats up too much and will wear faster.  I go about halfway in then bring the bit out a little to clean it up then press it in the rest of the way.  I tried both methods, the two push method definitely keeps the bit cooler, and makes it easier.

Step 6: Assembly of the Box to the Table.

Tools:
Pencil
Tape Measure
Sanding Block
Miter Saw
Drill
Square Driver Bit
Bar Clamps

Materials:
150 Grit sandpaper
1 1/2" Coarse Pocket Screws

I loose fit everything together make sure it worked.  Had to hand sand some stuff down (Home Depot panel saw was not very accurate).

Then I took the new 3/4" MDF bottom board and screw it to the table top.  I did this because I wanted to be sure that the sides were installed in the correct location and I did not care about the small holes as they would not be visible.  Also the Particle boards were slightly warped after 3 years without a center support and would need to be clamped.  I put the corner pocket screws in then removed the bottom MDF piece.  Make sure you clamp the board in place because the pocket screw will try and pull the piece in the direction it is pointing.

After getting all the pocket screws install on the side boards I put in the cubbyhole dividers.  I also put in spacers at the four corners to hold the 3/4" MDF board in place while I put in the pocket screws.  I then removed the spacers after everything was screwed in.

Step 7: Spray Glass and Install Legs

Tools:
Pencil
Tape Measure
Metal Chop Saw
Grinding wheel
Dremel

Materials:
Masking Tape
Glass Frosting Spray Paint

I decided to spray the glass so I could finish up the piece while waiting for it to dry.  I put masking on the edges of the glass just in case (probably was not necessary since it had a frosted look already).  I did three light coats.

The way the legs worked was a black plastic piece with a nut is screwed to the bottom of the table, and a threaded rod is screwed into the nut on the black plastic piece on the bottom of the table.  The rod is then covered with a black plastic tube.  Then you screw on the leg to the rod.  I used metal chop saw and a grinding wheel to cut the threaded rod down then ran a nut from the other end (it has to come from the uncut side) to smooth out the threads.

The plastic piece that mounts to the table sticks out a little where the rod and nut is located, so I had to Dremel the bottom of the table a little.  After that just put everything together.

Step 8: Finishing the Construction.

Really the only thing left to do was install the glass top, and put on the metal pulls that allow you to open it.

This table is pretty darn heavy not, which is not a huge deal, but will make it a little harder to move.

The only thing I might tweak is put in something that would keep the glass top open without having to flip it all the way over.

The only thing I would have changed in construction was to buy a router.  I needed to cut down the 3/4" MDF to 42 1/8" which I did not feel comfortable doing on my table saw, so I had Home Depot cut it on their Panel Saw, and it was not a straight cut.  Because of this on one of the corners the board is a bit separated.  Not horrible, but it bothers me.

Comments

author
r_the_creator made it! (author)2015-03-23

Does anyone know what model of table this is?

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2015-03-23

I bought this table years ago at a local european furniture company. I don't see a brand or name on it. Sorry :(

author
r_the_creator made it! (author)r_the_creator2015-03-24

What was the store called?

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2015-03-24

I think it was By Design in Norcross, GA. There is a road in Norcross, GA that has all these European Furniture stores. I think it was By Design, if it wasn't it was one of the stores on that road. (My wife thinks it was By Design as well)

author
cdclark02 made it! (author)2009-12-01

 OMG!!!  Totally rocking awesome!!!  I love this and am going to run to Value Village to get a table so I can make my own.  It's ideas like this that make this site so great.

author
porcupinemamma made it! (author)porcupinemamma2009-12-04

craineum :0) LOL thinking exactly the same thing as cdclark-but find V.Village is getting way too pricey.  Try The Goodwill on a 50% off day and there are often good finds

author
cdclark02 made it! (author)cdclark022009-12-05

 Nice, but in my area the V. Village is the more reasonably priced.  Plus I only get it if it is the half off tag of the week, or the 99 cent tag color on Mondays.  Plus I am partial to them because ours benefits the ARC and my daughter gets services through the ARC.  So I figure I am giving back what we receive.  :>)

author
porcupinemamma made it! (author)porcupinemamma2009-12-05

We don't seem to get the sales you get at V.V. Here in Ontario part of the profits go to Diabetis resurch. what is the ARC?

author
Tobita made it! (author)Tobita2010-07-30

It's a biblical artifact that has successfully been used by a certain Dr. Jones to get rid of Nazis.

author
bigjeff5 made it! (author)bigjeff52010-12-07

That's the ARK.

The ARC is a charity/community service group for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2009-12-01

Its comments like this that keep me coming back to post more stuff ;)

author
Iridium7 made it! (author)2010-02-24

 This instructable was made for me wasn't it? I really need a new way to store my controllers.

author
trailleadr made it! (author)trailleadr2010-03-26

I thought it was made for me and my numerous old game systems.
All kidding aside, this is really awesome.  Very aesthetically pleasing!

author
headphoned made it! (author)2009-12-06

 This is a great solution and beautiful, but a huge letdown for me! I read "gaming table" and thought it might be boardgames! Oh well. Great work!

author
porcupinemamma made it! (author)2009-12-05

Oh good craineum!  You have marvelous ideas.  Can't wait :0)!!

author
NightGod made it! (author)2009-12-04

That is a LOT of pocket screws. I built an arcade cabinet out of MDF and it's rock solid sturdy with screws every 10-12 inches. Not that what you did was wrong, just pointing out that it's a bit of an overbuild for something that's only going to be holding a couple dozen pounds worth of plastic controllers.

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2009-12-04

Yeah, I realized that after the fact (first time I worked with Pocket screws).  I also tend to over build a little anyways.  My little ones like to climb all over this thing so it can't hurt ;)

author
ChrysN made it! (author)2009-12-01

Nice, what a great way to hide away the clutter.

author
wenpherd made it! (author)2009-12-01

This is a very nice piece of handiwork.

author
seamster made it! (author)2009-12-01

This is cool!  Your past few projects have all been really nice.  Keep it up!

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2009-12-01

Thanks!  Will do... Think I got a real winner of an idea for the holiday contest :)  I'm such a tease.

author
Doctor What made it! (author)2009-12-01

What a lovely table!  I've been needing a coffeetable to store my gaming gear...  I might just use something like this.

author
flataffect made it! (author)2009-12-01

That's great! Looks clean and everything is in it's place. Suddenly I feel less clever for using the plastic storage bin that slides under my coffee table.

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2009-12-01

This was my solution before I was married ;)

author
Mandrew made it! (author)2009-12-01

Thumbs up, I have a cedar chest with a pneumatic lid that stores all my classic and modern remotes, plus D&D and other stuff, however yours is much better.

author
craineum made it! (author)craineum2009-12-01

I was thinking of adding pneumatic lift to my lid.  I just used what I had, and I am happy with the results.  I am sure yours fits the bill as well :)

author
jeff-o made it! (author)2009-12-01

That's a really cool idea!

author
russm313 made it! (author)2009-12-01

Very nice, Great idea!