Introduction: Bar Table and Desk - Using IKEA Table Tops (VIKA AMON)

I recently purchased two table tops from IKEA, the VIKA AMON series, in high gloss white. I decided that I was going to make the bases for them using pine that I purchased from Home Depot. The majority of the joinery will be pocket holes, using a pocket hole jig. 

Level of Difficulty

I found this project to be very fun and rewarding. With the right tools and the information that I provide in this Instructable I would consider this project to be a 5 out of 10 for an experienced woodworker. It is also a very manageable project for a beginner.


The total cost of the project is approximately $60 per table (including the table top purchased from IKEA) and approximately 8 - 10 hours of work in total. 


I strongly recommend that you take on this project if you are in need of a bar table. The original piece at IKEA, which is a stainless steel frame, will run you $200 CAD. Making the base for your bar table will save you $120. Building the base for the desk actually works out to be $5 more than buying the completed desk from IKEA, which is the top with 4 individual legs. Since I needed both, I decided to just build them both myself and I saved $115 in total. 


Please read and understand the owner's/safety manual of all your tools before using them. Some guards and safety devices were removed for the making of this Instructable, I DO NOT recommend you remove any safety devices or guides from your tools. Safety comes first. Never put yourself in danger.

Step 1: Tools

The following is a list of tools that I used to make the tables: 

- Mitre Saw
- Pocket Hole Jig (I used the KREG Pocket Hole Jig)
- Cordless Drill with bits
- Long Bar or Pipe Clamps (I used quick grip clamps)
- 'F' Clamps
- Tape Mesure
- Pencil
- Paint Brush
- 4" Foam Roller 
- 4" paint tray 

Step 2: Materials

- VIKA AMON Table Tops  (47 1/4 " x  23 5/8 " x 1 3/8 ") [2 pieces]
- Pine 2"x2"x8' [3 pieces]
- Pine 1"x3"x8' [5 pieces]
- 1-1/4" Coarse pocket hole screw
- Pocket Hole Plugs (Pine)
- #8 1-1/4" wood screws 
- Wood Glue
- Paint & Primer in One 

Step 3: Cut List

- The dimensions of the table top is 47-1/4" x 23-5/8" x 1-3/8" . I used this info to determine the measurements of the pieces required to build the table base.

- I knew I wanted the table top to overhang the base by 1/2", so I deducted 1" from the length and width of the table top and that gave me the dimensions for the base of each table.

-I knew that the finished height of the bar table should be 36-3/8" so I deducted the thickness of the Table top from 36-3/8" and it gave me the measurement for the legs. I also did the same for the desk.

- I then used this info to create the cut list. 

Step 4: Cutting the Material

In this project, there are many pieces that are the same length. Rather than measure and mark each piece I setup a stop. This saved time and more importantly ensured that each piece was cut accurately. 

Step 5: Drilling Pocket Holes

Once you have cut all of your pieces you are ready to drill the pocket holes. It's pretty straight forward once you understand how it works. I think the best way to learn is to read through the comments that I have posted on the attached images. 

Step 6: Location of the Pocket Holes

Please refere to the images for the locations of each hole. 

Step 7: Assembly - Part 1

Once you have all of you pocket holes drilled you can start the assembly. 

Take 2 legs and lay them down on the table. Then take 1 Top Skirt (Width) and 1 Bottom Skirt (Width) and place them between the two legs. I used two pieces of scrap wood cut to about 3/16"  thick to leave a reveal where the skirt and the leg meet. Start with the top skirt and clamp the three pieces together and then you can screw them together.  (I did not use glue for this part because gluing end grain to anything is pretty much useless.) Then repeat the clamping and screwing for the bottom skirt.  

Repeat these steps for the other side of the desk using the remaining legs and Top & Botttom Skirt pieces. 

I then added glue and plugs to the holes I made in the bottom skirt. Before I continued to part 2 of the assembly, I let these dry for approximately 30 minutes. Once dry I sanded them flush with the skirt using a belt sander. However I don't recommend a belt sander unless you have a lot of practice with one. It's very unstable and it is very easy to make a mistake. Another method is to use a router with a dado (or straight cutting) bit as pictured below. 

Step 8: Assembly - Part 2

You are now ready to add the the top skirt (length) pieces. 

Take the two pieces that you assembled in the previous step and stand them up on edge. Now place a top skirt (width) piece between them. Ensure they are flush at the top and use the spacers again to create the same reveal. Then clamp and screw this piece just as you did in the previous step. 

Flip the base over now and repeat this for the other top skirt (width) piece. 

*sorry I don't have a picture of this: 
Once complete you can turn the base on to its feet. You are now ready to attach the bottom stretcher. 
Measure the centre point on the bottom skirt (width) pieces. Place the bottom stretcher in its final location and clamp it tight. Pre-drill two holes on each side and then use regular screws to screw the stretcher in place. I used black drywall screws so that they are less noticeable. I decided not to plug these holes because now I am able to disassemble the table if required.  

Step 9: Corner Supports

The corner supports were made with the same material as the top skirt pieces 1" x 3"

I cut each corner support to 6" in length, with a 45-degree angle on each end.

Four holes were drilled in each piece. These holes are used to screw the corner supports into the top skirt of the table base. 

Two pocket holes were also drilled into each corner support, These holes are used to attach the base the to the table top. 

You can now screw the corner supports into place. 

Step 10: Sanding and Painting.

I didn't do a whole lot of sanding. I only sanded noticeably rough areas and also all the corners. This is a must. You want to break those sharp corners for two reasons: 

- sharp corners can cut and or hurt you
- a sharp corner cannot accept the paint, stain or sealer that you apply to it. The unfinished wood will show through eventually, if not immediately.

Once sanded you're ready to paint. I used a paint and primer in one. The colour is black, but with only one coat you get a very dark brownish black which still allows the wood grain to show through. I applied the paint with a brush and then rolled it smooth with the foam roller. This gave me even coverage with a  very smooth finish that looks like it was sprayed on. 

Step 11: Installing the Table Top

Once the paint has dried you can install the base to the table top. 

Start by placing the table top upside down on your bench (i recommend using a nice clean piece of cardboard as a protector) and then place your base upside down on top of it. 

Center the base so that the overhang will be equal on all sides. Lightly clamp the base down using your F-clamps and then use your pocket screws to screw it down. 

That's it! You're done!