Introduction: Rustic Coffee Table
After looking at multiple coffee tables to purchase, I set out to build a relatively inexpensive rustic coffee table for my home. Invest roughly 10 hours of work over the course of a week and $100 in materials to build this table.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
(1x) 1x2x8 furring strip
(1x) 1x4x4 common board
(2x) 1x2x8 common board
(3x) 1x3x8 common board
(1x) 1x6x8 common board
(1x) 1x12x8 common board
(4x) 2x4x8 common board
(1x) 1/4 in plywood (Lauan) 2x4
(1 Pack) Drawer slides
(1) Rustic handle
(1 Quart) Wood Stain
Step 2: Build Table Base / Lower Shelf
Cut the 1x12 to the desired length (I went with 36") and secure together using the 1x2 furring strip (22.5" length) as shown. I glued and tacked in place.
Step 3: Add Legs
The legs are a two-part construction: use the 1x2 and 1x3 boards (16.5" length). The 1x2 is flush on the inside of the 1x3 board and is secured to each corner of the base in Step 1.
Build each leg by gluing and tacking together.
Secure each leg to the corner of the base. Be sure to check your height of the leg to the base for a level top. I marked the inside of the legs at the same height from the bottom (4") and used a level as shown in the pictures.
Step 4: Attach the Sides
Cut the 1x6 board to 36" (1x) and 21.75" (2x). Secure the 36" to the back of the table and the 21.75" to the sides (all inside of the legs as shown).
Step 5: Build Drawer Brace
This is the hardest part of the entire process - you want to ensure the drawer braces are true and level.
There are two braces for the table - front and back support.
Each are constructed from the 1x3 common board. The top and bottom of each support is 34.5" length and the vertical supports are 3.75" in height. The outside face of each vertical support is spaced 1" from the outside edge of the top/bottom supports.
I didn't account for the bend in the wood, so I had to improvise and attach the vertical supports to the top support first, install, then attach the bottom support. If you ensure you have flat wood (such as planed boards), then this step is a lot easier.
install the drawer braces as shown - top support is flush with the sides of the table as shown.
Step 6: Add Bottom "skirt"
The "skirt" of the table covers the rough base edge and furring strips and is constructed from the 1x2 common board.
Back and front boards are 32.5" and side boards are 19.5".
Glue and nail to base.
Step 7: Build the Drawer
The drawer is constructed from the following materials:
Base: 1/4" plywood (cut to 16x30")
Back/sides: 1x3 common board (16" for sides, 30" for back)
Front: 1x4 common board (30.75" length)
I framed out the back and sides to ensure they are square to each other and then attached the plywood to the base. The front was added last.
Step 8: Install the Drawer
Installing a drawer isn't fun the first time you do it - you have to ensure the slides are square and at the correct height.
I removed the front of the drawer to show the detail on how it's installed.
There's a trick I learned to ensure your drawer is level - use some playing cards to level the front and ensure you have a 1/8" gap around the drawer front to the inside edges of the front drawer support.
Attach the drawer-side slides to the drawer (make sure it's level and same height from bottom on each side) and then mark where the table-side slide needs to be and secure to the inside face of each vertical support.
Step 9: Make the Top
I made the top from 2x4 studs since I have small children who don't are too young to appreciate things not to destroy it - cheap enough that it wouldn't be too bad to replace in the future.
The table top is 44" by 28".
I mitred the corners at 45 degrees, added a center support and then attached the horizontal boards using pocket screws.
Flip the table upside down and attach to the top of the drawer supports by wood screws.
Step 10: Sand & Stain
Sand the entire thing until you think it's smooth enough - I started with 200 and finished with 400 grit.
Use the stain of your choice - I went with dark walnut.
Let it dry, touch up where needed, and then seal with polyurethane to protect the finish.
I've attached the plans for a more in-depth guide.