Picture of Piano Coffee Table

If you can find an old piano that is beyond repair - they're constantly being given away for free on Craigslist - and you have a few basic tools, you can build this coffee table! On behalf of musicians everywhere, please don't tear apart a working instrument!

This project is simpler than it may appear... you don't need to be a professional carpenter and you don't need a fancy workshop... just some patience and willingness to learn along the way. All the wood is pine, which is not ideal for furniture, but works well enough if you're on a budget. You will also notice that the measurements are described as "approximate," not because reading a tape measure is difficult, but because it's okay if your lengths are not exact, as long as they're identical to the opposing piece.

piano keys
4 Queen Anne table legs (I bought mine from Lowe's)
1"x4" for the table top (two lengths approx. 48" and two lengths approx. 24")
1"x3" for the apron (two lengths approx. 44" and two approx. 20")
1"x2" strips for the supports (one length 46" and two lengths 22")
1/4" thick plywood, approx. 46"x22" for table bottom
tempered glass, custom cut
wood glue
sandpaper (120, 220, 300 grits)
mineral spirits
Verathane Dark Walnut stain
oil-based polyurethane

circular saw
palm sander
speed square
tape measure
Kreg pocket hole jig
power drill
paintbrush (for stain)
cotton rags / old t-shirts
foam brush (for polyurethane)

Credit where credit is due: I got a whole lot of inspiration from this instructable. Thank you!

CraigRJess1 year ago

Just awesome! Nice work, and nice write up too.

Love the .223 ammo cans for weight....I myself don't have a big enough work bench so I find myself using whatever works best: tool boxes, garbage cans with ply on top etc. Way to improvise!

Maybe Dave (author)  CraigRJess1 year ago

Thank you! Man, getting that table top glue up was tricky, trying to apply even pressure on the short sides. I had to clamp scraps to my dining table then hammer it in slowly.

We make similar tables and more at http://pianobox.me

jmaxson1 made it!9 months ago

My dad made this for me over the last couple weeks. Very impressive!

He ended up 3/4" thick veneered plywood for the bottom, below the keys (instead of the lap joint frame specified in this Intsructable). He also substituted straight tapered legs instead of the Queen Ann.


"On behalf of musicians everywhere, please don't tear apart a working instrument!"

.. I recall a certain tv show setting a dead piano on fire. I like this idea better.

Very well done! Thank you for sharing. Also for the clever chapter names. lol
Mihsin1 year ago

If you ever decided to market this, I suggest this name: Liberace Dream Table.

Your hands should be wrapped in silk while not in the shop.

Thanks for this criation.

maka1 year ago

This is just beautiful. I don't have room for another piece of furniture in my apartment, but I *WILL* have one of these someday.

vizagmusic1 year ago

awesome work in perfect way.

cpurola1 year ago

Detroit Public Schools is having no luck getting rid of their pianos.

Recently ended auction:


No one bid on 55 used pianos.

So sad.

Maybe Dave (author)  cpurola1 year ago

Holy smokes! That would have been the haul of a lifetime for my work. I wonder what they did with all of those...

Actually they'll probably have them up again, since no one bid.

Call them and ask or watch the auctions like I do.

Love this project!! That's a great idea. The table is very pretty and one heck of a conversation piece.
14395122Jj1 year ago
Sure I would vote for you if you check out some of my coin art :) there entered into the jewelry contest.
anapet011 year ago
My grandpa would love this I wish I could make one for him but idk where to get a really old piano can u possibly make the keys out of wood and just paint them to look like piano keys
Maybe Dave (author)  anapet011 year ago

I suppose you could make the keys yourself, and boy would that be impressive! I considered making one myself for the missing key, before I decided that it was more beautiful with imperfections. Another thing you might consider, if you're actually going to make the keys, is to make half the tabletop solid wood, and the other half a shadowbox. That way you only have to build the piano keys to be the black and white parts, as opposed to the entire key. Just a thought...

craigslist. they even say that in the instructable. xP. people throw out pianos all the time, if you haul it away for them. just keep yoru eyes peeled

i /love/ this. i wish i had a place where htis would fit in, cuz id' totaly make one...

chiefwms1 year ago
Saw one like this as junk gypsies

Wow, it's gorgeous!

keitre1 year ago

wow... I have to make one...

I thought it was going to be a working piano again, but as a nostalgic upcycle, this is definitely beautiful as just decor.

Maybe Dave (author)  StoryAddict1 year ago

Dude that would make me Jimmy DiResta... I wish I was that good!

14395122Jj1 year ago
Haha no one calls them speed squares anymore. Went into lowes, Home Depot and ace hardware and harbor freight and they said that a tool like that didn't exist, I later learned there called carpenters triangles. Brings back good memories people using the actual names for tools.
Maybe Dave (author)  14395122Jj1 year ago

Whoa that is shocking and saddening. Presumably because because were looking for a square object? But then again, they're also being made of cheap plastic...

Maybe Dave (author)  Maybe Dave1 year ago

*people were...

(Can we edit posted comments? I'm new around here...)

14395122Jj1 year ago
You would think that speed square being the name of one item would identify it. I guess times and names change.

This really is phenomenal! I will never look at a junked piano the same way again! Thanks! :)

jmdushi1 year ago
A Thelonious Monk table ;) Great design!
lime3D1 year ago

I don't think I would ever make this for myself, but I love the idea and execution of the project. Great job!

tocsik1 year ago

Love it!