I'm a DIY-er with too many ideas. Some of these ideas I do make, most of them I don't. It depends mostly on time and money whether or not I bring certain ideas to life. This was an idea started with the fact me and my girlfriend want to life together after our internship abroad. We already made a list with stuff we still need at that point of living together, one of them being a coffee table. Of course I wanted to make one myself, but as a student I didn't want to spend any money. I also had lots of other cool projects  which wouldn't cost me anything. A week later someone offered me almost 5.5 meters of square tubing. That same day I started the design.

This instructable will explain all steps for creating the same coffee table I did. In order to create an as simple as possible instructable I devided the entire build in 6 parts. This devision make not all steps chronologic placed but results in the best instructable in my opinion. Below I briefly explain the 6 parts before going into full detail in the following steps. Enjoy the build en your new coffee table.

Part 1: Design
The first part, the design all depends on your design skills and the materials you want to work with. Take your time to make a good design, because when your design is already not a big succes there is a good possibility the results will be even worse.

Part 2: Frame
The frame will take a lot of time. Many time consuming steps need to be done. First you need to cut the frame. The welding is done in two main steps, first attaching is al together (spot welding), secondly you need to weld the rest. During the welding make sure your frame doesn't deform. After the welding everything needs to be grinded/sanded, followed by smoothing everything with putty. The last step is the painting in the desired color.

Part 3: Wooden top
The wooden top is one of the easiest parts of the build. Take an old top, remove the old varnish, cut is to the proper size and finale revarnish/paint it to the desired color.

Part 4: Redesign
During the build you can already see some sort of a result. Sometimes a good addition is devised during the build, this was the case for this coffee table. Especially for friends I designed it in Google Sketchup so I could show them what is would be like. Normally I wouldn't do the redesign part in Google Sketchup due to the fact that I already saw it in real life so I know it looks good.

Part 5: Shelf
The shelf is made from rest materials from the old top. We gluid them together, cut the result into 3 pieces, then gluid it another time. The results was cut to the right size and planed before the revarnishing/painting.

Part 6: Assembly
Now all parts were present, the table could be assembled. Holes for the screws were drilled in the frame. The frame was attached to the top. The shelf got its final destination and caps were attached to the bottom in order to prevent the table from scratching.

Step 1: Materials


  • square tube, steel, 30 x 30 x 2 mm
This design requires 5220 mm in length, without taking the saw width and the saw angle into account so a little less would be sufficient. I had a little less and it was divided into 1 part of approximately 4 meters and 3 of approximately 0.45 meters. With some calculations and some fitting I had just enough.
  • primer(putty, 2 component)
  • primer(paint)
  • paint

Top and shelf:
  • old coffee table
Make sure the top is big and thick enough for your design. If you are making a top and a shelf, make sure both can be with the same old table. If you make your top and shelf from different tables there is a possibility it won't look the same.
  • varnish
  • glue (only when there is not enough wood for the shelf. In this case it has to be made from pieces from the old cutted top)

  • screws
  • caps (to fill the holes for the screws)
  • caps (in order to prevent your steel frame to touch the floor, this way the floor won't be damaged)


  • Miter saw for steel
  • MIG welder
  • Welding table
  • clamps
  • angle grinder
  • grinding disk
  • sanding disk
  • putty knifes
  • sanding paper
  • paintbrush

Top and shelf:
  • paint scraper
  • sander
  • circular saw
  • clamps
  • table saw
  • thickness planer (in case you are not able to use one, an electric plane will also work. It only cost more time)

  • cordless drill

Very very nice! This is gorgeous!
Do you think its possible to make the frame out of wood? I don't have a welder, so it would be nice to make it out of wood. The question would be if it's stable enough.....
yeah, you could use wood, but dang, that metal mixed with wood is beautiful!!!
I'm not the best woodworker, so I really don't know. But if I should guess I think it will not be strong enough. All forces will act on the two lower corners of the large frame, so you should have real good wood and a good fasten method in order to handle those forces.
Beautiful table. I think my husband may be getting busy pretty soon!
Thank you, and good luck with your table.
Great looking table and it is a nice addition to the room. Well done.
Beautiful! And such a complete instructable. Well done.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm a mechanical engineer in the Eindhoven region. In my spare time I like to make random stuff, both usefull and especially useless.
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