Introduction: Coffee Table Made Form a Single 2x4

Picture of Coffee Table Made Form a Single 2x4

To get an overview please watch the video.

First, sorry for my English!

This coffee table was made by a 2"x4" (5cm x 10cm) and 8 feet (240cm) long.

I know it is a wrong 2x4 because it is 2"x 4" and a real 2x4 is not 2"x 4"

The wood I used was Swiss pine, in German "Zirbe". It smells pretty good, so I decided not to use any wood finish.

Step 1: Plan and Tools

Picture of Plan and Tools

All measures on this plan are in cm!

Tools, I used:

  • table saw
  • router
  • band sander
  • drill press
  • clamps
  • chisel

wood glue

4 screws

Step 2: Cut the 2x4 in Pieces

Picture of Cut the 2x4 in Pieces

I have only a small table saw, but with a clamp and a supporting table, it was no problem.

Step 3: Cut the Pieces in Width

Picture of Cut the Pieces in Width

Swiss pine is very soft. So it was not a problem to cut it with a fine saw blade.

Step 4: Milling

Picture of Milling

I cut a 4mm slot in the long table frame piece

all the small boards of the table top got a shoulder, so the fit in this slot

every foot got two slots

Step 5: Cut Tenons

Picture of Cut Tenons

the pieces of the frame got tenons

Step 6: Sanding

Picture of Sanding

a lot of sanding!

Step 7: Assembling the Table Top

Picture of Assembling the Table Top

I glued every tenon in the slot of the frame with a small separator made out of 6 mm MdF

Then I glued the second board on the tenons and clamped all together.

After the glue was dry, I cut the boards in length and sand the table top.

Step 8: Preparing the Table Stand

Picture of Preparing the Table Stand

the table top was screwed on the stand

I drilled holes with a big drill bit half into the frame boards

and with a small drill bit all the way through

Step 9: Assembling the Table Stand 1

Picture of Assembling the Table Stand 1

First, I glued the two small pieces on the feet

Step 10: Assembling the Table Stand 2

Picture of Assembling the Table Stand 2

then I glued the long parts on.

Because my clamps are not big enough, I made this little jig.

Step 11: Assembling

Picture of Assembling

Just screw the table stand on the table top.

If you have any questions, please write them in the comments.

If you like this, please vote for it in the table contest.


stanwitham (author)2016-12-07

Looks like it isn't very hard to do. Thanks for sharing!!

joseph.campo.35 (author)2016-11-15

I own a home. I don't have a table saw. I don't have a router. Did you see the machine he used to taper the edges of the legs? Plus he had a high power saw area, not to mention all the space required to house the table saw plus the layout board. Sorry, that's not all found in the typical home. Has nothing to do with gender, please.

AdamT96 (author)joseph.campo.352016-11-22

not affiliated with this site but I can't believe everyone that is on this site that fosters creativity and are willing to let themselves be so limited. Everything you need to make a build like this can be done with a circular saw and a few DIY jigs. If this is something you might have a passion for (which I believe is the reason we are drawn to these sites) then learn to adapt!

Joseph, it's refreshing to see another gal with wood working tools. And I believe you are quite wrong in your assessment of the average US homeowner. There are ways to have a drill press, routing table, and a table saw in the space of one work table...if you are interested.

milindnirgun (author)2016-11-15

Your work and your equipment/workshop is awesome and I am jealous. I don't think I can get to the point where I can build this project but I got a few good ideas from your video that can be applied to other projects. So thank you.

AdamT96 (author)milindnirgun2016-11-22

don't limit yourself! We do these things to fuel a creativity inside of us. Here is a site with a ton of jigs to make that allow you to do almost all of this with just a circular saw.

The rest can be completed with a chisel and a hammer... same tools that the cavemen used lol.

attawudh (author)2016-11-21

nice mood when used.

KikiS9 (author)2016-11-15

This is really great - thank you:) It makes me want to build it now! For the tools you use - mainly a table saw and router, and clamps? Anything else? I first need to come up with building a router table or stand, as I just have the router unmounted right now... guess that should be my next project.

WackyPup (author)KikiS92016-11-21

You can build a nice router table, there's probably an instructable for it! Or check yard sales, that's where i got mine.

bigpig (author)2016-11-17

I could do this but I'd need a 2x4 that is 187 feet long!

Cayotica (author)2016-11-15

absolutely loved your use of the wedge claims that is a technique we don't see very often these days. BTW here in America an unfinished 2 x 4 is really 2 x 4.

F. BrianH (author)Cayotica2016-11-16

Not sure where you are finding a 2x4 that is 2"x4" unless you are getting one from a local mill. Most finished or unfinished 'dimensional lumber' labeled as a 2x4 is actually closer to 1 1⁄2 by 3 1⁄2 inches (38 mm × 89 mm) here in the USA.

Cayotica (author)F. BrianH2016-11-16

Unfinished/rough sawed lumber is easy to find if you don't mind it being scrapped. Single use pallets, shippers even internal frame work of quality furniture and the mill, my brother the surgeon (tree that is) rough saws his own lumber but it's too green for me to use, l like kiln dried myself.

jiajunwang (author)2016-11-16

Properly done!

Cayotica (author)2016-11-16

don't need all that fancy stuff l made the table with only my 10" contractor table saw an a 1/2" chisel.....oh and twine lots of twine.

UbyS (author)2016-11-16

Will be good for the ones that doesn't have the tools to have the measures of the cut pieces used in this project. We can have the pieces cut by the measures and do the assembling process.

fluffy52601 (author)2016-11-16

I voted! Very cool

karnowskij (author)2016-11-16

I see a lot of people saying they couldn't do this because they don't have the same tools. Using standard dimension lumber, bought at a big box store, change the dimensions, and with a few simple hand tools you should be able to build this. It may not be as finely put together, but with a hand-held drill, hand-held circular saw, back saw and some proper planning (use clamps and a straight edge to cut the slots) you should be able to do most of the jointery.

A nice clean design! Well done!

RobertC443 (author)2016-11-16

I'd like to add some additional thoughts to my input below....1. If you don't have the tools Stephan has...this would be a great opportunity to meet/work with a neighbor who does. 2. If you decide to use the Pocket hole technique I mentioned..... you can substitute 1X2's and 2X2's and avoid the rip cutting which Stephan does. This way everything can be bought at the store and all you need is a handheld electric drill to assemble.

RobertC443 (author)2016-11-16

Hi...very nice job and great photo's and explanation. I would like to comment on MadMax input below. While yes a big box store will make the cuts for you, the joint design will have to be modified. StephanP1 designed the table with mortise and tenon joints. An alternate would be to use Pocket Hole screw (such as the Kreg system). If you do, then all dimensions should be shortened the length of the tenons. Good luck to all...

headache (author)2016-11-16

Beautiful table. I love the, for lack of a batter phrase, slatted look. It looks like it could have come from Ikea. Thanks for sharing.

headache (author)2016-11-16

Me too. lol Router, table saw, drill press, chop saw, mig welder; that's just a few. Love my tools! Built my own router table too.

salomatik (author)2016-11-15

This is very nice explain. I like this table.

MadMex2k (author)2016-11-15

All you folks without those tools(including me!) can take the measurements to a big box hardware store(Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.) and get the wood cut to do the build. All you would have to do to finish is sand the pieces and assemble.

cavalier19 (author)2016-11-15

Neat work. Maybe will take it up later.

JoeD28 (author)2016-11-15

Nice work and a lot of good ideas. Will have to make one. Thanks

phillipnolan (author)2016-11-15

very nice.

Aussie58 (author)2016-11-15

Ignore the knockers - you designed it - you used your available equipment - you showed us a good process - and it looks great. 49+k views in 2 days says something.

If those without tools have to buy 2x2 (as much as they need, use some elbow grease to sand and round edges, cut using a hand saw and use a 'manual' screw driver then they can do it.

Good on you!

Aussie, I think the point the "knockers", is that the average guy isn't going to have a wood shop, mill, and hand tools to make something like this. Sure it's an obvious point to bring up, sure Stephan did a great job, but I think some people were maybe hoping for an easy alternative way of making the table vs. the whole shop thing. At least that's how I see it from a positive point of view.

I don't have a table saw, so there's no way I could construct this. I have built plenty of other stuff, but where I could manually saw, or use my power saw. To get those nice clean cuts, table saw is required. Still - a fine job, very impressive.

peebee30 (author)2016-11-15

My local builders yard sells 2x3 in 16' lengths, gonna get hubby to try this out for bedside tables instead, brilliant Stephen!

peebee30 (author)2016-11-15


hall_simon (author)2016-11-15

Well done - beautiful piece of furniture.

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. - It always makes me laugh when non-english speakers apologise for their English, then proceed to demonstrate better grammar than half of the "English" speakers on here :-)

AnthonyG104 (author)2016-11-15

Nice work!. The average "flat owner" would not have many of the items/equipment needed nor the space to do many of the instructables on this site. I am sure many of your readers are not "flat owners/renters" and many do have the space and access to equipment as they live in larger domiciles or have a garage to tinker with projects.

AeroSpaceWatercraft (author)2016-11-15

Well Stephan, you definitely did a great job using your skills, mill, and shop to make this. I'm not really sure how this was an instruction for a guy to follow, who lives in an apartment (flat as the euros call it). There are plenty of those who still make stuff from old pallets in their apartment I guess.

Back on point, finding a mill in the US, to cut an actual 2x4 will be hard to find or expensive to purchase. Some cities have wood specialty stores, but again, they are expensive.

Here in the US, the average 2x4 in my area, is 1 5/8th inches (41.2mm?) thick by 3.5 inches wide, by 8 foot long. So you'd have to seek out a mill, as I mentioned before, in order to begin to follow your instructable here.

I think that's where a lot of the static from US commenters is coming from.

Again, I thought your video was great and easy to follow. I look forward to see other posts.

Aussie58 (author)2016-11-15

onya girl - like your positive comment - thumbs up!

RayJN (author)2016-11-15

Really nice workshop. Very nice table. Your English is fine. You started
with a totally straight clear actual 2x4 not the American 3 1/2" x 1 1/2"
warped knotty lumber we get. I looked online for Swiss pine and Zirbe
and found no supplier. Douglas Fir is about as close as I believe I
could get, and would need more than one "2x4"

WackyPup (author)2016-11-15

Great project! I rip 2x4's for a lot of things. You can find nice clear 2x4's for a couple dollars. Good job, you got my vote :)

JeffG55 (author)2016-11-15

Nicely done. I also like the clamping jig.

joseph.campo.35 (author)2016-11-15

Great job. Fantastic how this was made from a single 2x4. However, note that your average USA homeowner doesn't have the space or equipment that you used. Still, very inspirational. Congratulations.

ARoddaTyler (author)2016-11-15

I teach woodshop to blind high schoolers. I love this instructable. While you rely mostly on your pictures, I will easily be able to write out the directions for them. Thanks for a great idea!

mahvin (author)2016-11-15

Great instructable!

JCambpell007 (author)2016-11-15

That clamping jig is genius!

Franklin Studio (author)2016-11-15

Very nice!

jeanneambro (author)2016-11-15

Love it! Wish I could get my hands on real 2x4s! Great job!!

David Catriel (author)2016-11-15

very nice! Thx for sharing.

seamster (author)2016-11-14

I like it! I think this could reasonably be done with a standard "2x4" US framing stud. The table would turn out smaller of course, but all techniques would be the same. I may have to give this a shot :)

Good project, thanks for sharing!

JonathonB4 (author)seamster2016-11-15

I have a nearby lumber yard that sells rough cut lumber in actual dimensions. The only downside is that it would take a bit more sanding.

StephanP1 (author)seamster2016-11-15

Thank you Sam, I am glad you like it.

imkzh (author)2016-11-15

Amazing! love it!

About This Instructable




Bio: If you like simple solutions then here you can find some of my crazy ideas.
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