Introduction: Coffee Table (Hack of IKEA LACK)

A couple of years ago we were in IKEA and saw a coffee table for around fifty dollars. Who could pass up such a deal. Well, after two toddlers and people who like to put their feet on the table, it started to get a little wobbly. We got a few years out of it and knew from the looks of the top and joints that it was time to go, or at least be renovated. In this project I renovate our old IKEA coffee table with decoupage and Kee Klamp fittings.

Step 1: Materials, Tools, & SketchUp File

Materials

Tools

  • Pipe Cutter
  • Allen Wrench
  • Marker
  • Tape Measure

Also included below is a Sketchup File of the Coffee Table. See more of these type of sketchup projects in our SketchUp Library.

Step 2: Dismantle Existing Coffee Table (or Locate Top)

As mentioned above we built this table by deconstructing an IKEA LACK coffee table. But there is really no reason you could not build this table with any other table top. I am sure that just about any old coffee table or salvageable piece of wood worthy of a table top would work fine.

Step 3: Decorate/Finish Table Top

My wife chose to use decoupage for this project. Decoupage is a technique that uses a glue substance to mount paper to a surface. The paper is dipped in the glue so that it is entirely soaked and then placed on the surface. For more about decoupage click here. Other ideas for table top:

  • Glue down a poster
  • Break up old tiles and make a mosaic

To finish the top I applied three coats of Minwax® Polycrylic. If you have money to throw away you might consider using the epoxy coat that they use to coat bar tops. The Polycrylic seals the surface so that the paper is not exposed moisture (e.g. from the bottom of your coffee cup).

Step 4: Mount Table Legs

In this step we will cut the pipe legs and mount them to the bottom of the table to form the pipe base.

3.1 – Screw flanges to the bottom of the table top. I just eyed the distance from the edge because I was mounting the flanges so close to the edge.

3.2. – Cut table legs to desired length. I used the old table legs from the IKEA coffee table to determine the leg height.

3.3 – Insert table legs into the flanges that have been attached to the bottom of the table.

3.4 – Measure the distance between the end pipes and cut the pipe to that length to form the brace ends.

3.5 – Slip on a tee fitting onto the brace pipe that was just cut and then put a tee fitting on either end. At this point you should be able to slide that piece down onto the two legs at the end of the table.

3.6 – Once both the side braces are on, measure the distance from brace to brace. This will give you the length of the pipe that runs down the middle of the table.

3.7 – Once you cut the middle runner pipe then month the pipe between the two middle tee fittings to complete the leg bracing.

3.8 – At this point you can begin to tighten your fittings. You may want to wait to do your final adjustment until after the table is flipped over.

3.9 – Insert end caps. The end caps I used were designed for use with schedule 40 pipe, not aluminum fence post, so you will need to apply a bit of epoxy or glue to the end caps before inserting them.

3.10 – At this point you can flip the table over and do your final adjustments.

Comments

author
mikesty made it!(author)2006-11-17

Rock on for recyclables :)

author
meddler made it!(author)2006-11-17

Wow, heck of a job, looks great! I am a firm beliver in reusing things. I hate to see something thrown away if there is still a use for it.

author
christopher.r.gilbert.3 made it!(author)2015-02-03

Looks great! If you wanted, you could even run two pieces of board across the support frame (length wise), use fence clamps and two screws to secure them, then grind off the top of the screws (assuming they poke through), sand and paint, and then it would have two levels!

author
mininger made it!(author)2015-01-15

Where did you purchase those flanges you screwed into the table top?

author
bwalton made it!(author)2010-02-07

so you know the link posted saying "click here" does not work it is not a link at all.

author
antioch made it!(author)2012-08-11

yup, would like to know a nice decoupage link

author
kirnex made it!(author)2007-09-18

Oh man, a great way to cover a tabletop. When done right, it'll last forever. I covered a scratched up veneer coffee table with brown bags about 15 years ago in the exact same fashion, and it's STILL looking good. It's a coffee table finish on steroids.

author
owlsVSsnakes made it!(author)2007-07-25

I'm not an expert on construction or anything of the sort. But if the short crossbars the go the width on each side were staggered so one was low and one was high, the structure would probably be much stronger. The idea is to create a triangle that will shift the load from the 16 screws in the wood onto the thick bars. Of course, you couldn't put things on the bar then.

author
homebznez_pal made it!(author)2007-07-18

i should say the design is great, however seem a little familiar to me though, or is it just the same type of project that i saw. but for a furniture, i should say all in all this one good. board and batten

author
edless74 made it!(author)2007-06-13

Checked out simplified buildings website looks like their a big Keeklamp distributor, the brand sold around our are is called Interclamp so much cheaper than Keeklamp, maybe Simplified building should look at importing that brand

author
lesliekay made it!(author)2007-03-21

HAHA, I bought that exact table from Ikea (now priced around $30) and after only 6 months of three college kids and their friends constantly putting their feet up on it, the legs of the table became loose and stripped from the screws, the shelf that goes underneath wouldn't stay on the tiny little pegs that are supposed to hold it in there (because the legs were broken) and the entire table ended up getting trashed in the dumpster because it was totally unfixable at that point and was scratched, dented and very unstable. However, every other piece of furniture I've gotten from Ikea (my full-size bed, my huge couch, my kitchen table and chairs, TV stand, shelving, and much more) has been perfect and I've never had a single problem with them! I've even taken everything apart and put it all back together when I moved! Anyways, nice job on the project, wish I'd seen this sooner and maybe I could have saved what was once a very nice coffee table (we've resorted to using a footstool from Ikea as a 'table' haha)

author
jg_hitzert made it!(author)2007-03-12

This is my twist on the Ikea Hack. These were coffee tables that I tore the legs off and used to top off my kitchen island. They are covered in glitter infused bar top resin over hot rod flames.

island.jpg
author
jg_hitzert made it!(author)2007-03-12

I used a couple of these coffee table tops to cover my kitchen island. I painted flames and covered with glitter infused epoxy bar top. It worked very well.

island.jpg
author
mrgibby made it!(author)2007-02-17

those legs gotta be wreaking havoc on that rug.

author
simplifiedbuilding made it!(author)2007-02-19

Hi there, actually there are plastic pipe caps on the ends.. the table "glides" quite nicely across the rug. You're right though.. without the caps, it would be a disaster!

author
sysadmn made it!(author)2007-01-28

Clever - certainly stylish enough to blend in many decors. As nice as the Kee Lites are, I still can't make myself pay those prices. I can understand paying for quality for safety railing, but a $50 coffee table?
L10-7 ~ $7 x 6 = 42;
L61-7 ~ $9 x 4 = 36;
don't know what the 77-7 runs, but the L84-7 ~ $3.50 x 4 = 14
I guess around $100 is not too bad for furniture that should last a lifetime, but there is an element of sticker shock.

author
theRIAA made it!(author)2006-11-17

thats like $100 in tees, flanges, and plugs

author
Boondoggle made it!(author)2006-11-17

Beautiful decoupage work! Kind of inefficient recycling, though. With 85 bucks worth of Kee-Klamps in there, I might've pitched toward more standard hardware. Or skipped the legs and hung the decoupage for art's sake.

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2006-11-17

Having been traumatized in my youth by IKEA furniture, I've gone in the totally opposite direction. However, it's nice to see the made-to-be-disposable stuff can form the base of something nice.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I own a online business that sells industrial pipe fittings (Kee Klamp), PVC (pipe and fittings), as well as unique projects made with these products.
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