Picture of The ultimate coffee table
The coffee table often resides in the center of our homes where we relax and read. These aspects influenced my design process of the table. The design incorporates a tray into the table top to display and store magazines. The tray was fabricated to allow the magazines or books to slightly rise above the plane of the table top. This allows a person to easily grab one for reading.

Here, I want to share a table I designed and built that is quite useful and attractive. I hope this will inspire you to make something similar.

This was the first piece of furniture I ever built and enjoyed the process. I completed this project while in design school when I had access to lots of machinery and a full wood shop. I don't have many of the tools you really needed to build this now, hence why it would be great to win!

I will explain how I built this table with the tools I had at the time but also give optional fabrication techniques / alternate materials that may be more readily available to you; for instance making the tray for the magazines out of wood instead of plastic.
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Step 1: Design Process

Picture of Design Process
sketches 1.jpg
sketches 2.jpg
sketches 3.jpg
sketches final.jpg
sketches 5.jpg
sketches 6.jpg
I am a strong believer in exploring all options. I know this is on here for you to follow the steps as one defines them, but I assume you are like me if you read the instructables website. That is, you enjoy solving problems, blazing new trails and are a bit creative. So I am a believer in planning your design and pondering what you are going to do before you do it. I know you will end up in a far better position than if you just jump right in.

Below I have included some of my original sketches and ideas which lead up to this table. Feel free to use one of these ideas or let them inspire some new ones. Either way, you can follow the steps I have to build this table.
amin_sltn3 years ago
whats the machanism of moveing the mold?
Great project! I love your species selection, I am a huge fan of domestics. I am wondering about the 'floating table clips,' what are they exactly, could you point to an example on the internet? Thank you for this great instructable, I also love the use of vacuum forming.
techshop14 years ago
Reminds me of my days at RIT
Love your design - you are great!
tomtom43884 years ago
that picture... wood-coloured, but what is it?
I can't see enough of the grain, but it's either curly maple or maple burl. Do a google image search for it. It's a gorgeous wood when it's finished right.
gendro835 years ago
i love you. great great instructable. thank you!
nocturnal5 years ago
Love the illustrations. Great sketch-ups!
BeanGolem6 years ago
Very well done. I miss my school's shop. Now all I have to work with is a miter saw and a drill, more or less. I really like the modular design you have sketched out, but it would definitely be more work.
nice table. nice sketches too! i.d. students i'm guessing? ;)
omnibot6 years ago
That is a great looking table. Very chic.
aristocob6 years ago
At first glance I thought that was a coffee filter hanging under the table! Defiantly would have made the ultimate "coffee" table! Nice work and good luck in the next round. Scott