Step 1: Gather Materials
- 80, 150, and 220 grit sandpaper
- tack cloth to remove dust from sanding (this step is really important, don't skip it)
- Wood conditioner (this goes on before the stain, and helps the wood accept stain uniformly, which is especially important for plywood).
- Your wood stain of choice. I went with a light oak gel stain that combines the stain and polyurethane steps, reducing the amount of drying time and number of steps.
- Polyurethane (if you don't get a combination stain).
- Wood glue (optional)
Step 2: Prototype
It is very important that you accurately measure the thickness of the wood you will be cutting, as the slots at the center of the leg pieces must be exactly as wide as the material's thickness in order to fit snugly together. It is also important to incorporate fillets into the slots. These make sure that the router will cut all the way down to the bottom of the slot (this is an issue with making any sort of rectangular slot using a round cutting tool). If you don't make fillets, then the pieces won't slide together all the way and the four feet of the table won't be flush against the ground.
Step 3: Cut the Wood
Step 4: Sand and Stain
Step 5: Assemble
Finally, contact your local glass shop to acquire a glass table top. They generally have many standard square sizes available with a variety of edge styles and finishes. For this base, I chose a 3/8" thick, 36" square piece with polished edges and 90 degree corners. Rounded corners would probably also look fine. I also bought some adhesive, clear rubber bumpers to put between the legs and the glass, to keep it from sliding around. The total materials cost came out to about $200, but I still have a 4'x4' chunk of plywood, and enough wood conditioner and stain to redo this project 10 times over, so I would say the real cost was about $140, with $115 of that being for the glass surface.
The .dwg file is attached, but remember to adjust for your particular wood thickness, cutting tool, and any other stuff I may have forgotten. Be safe, and enjoy your new coffee table!
I made it at Techshop! (shameless plug, yes, but it really is an awesome place)