Introduction: Geometric Plywood Tabletop
I've seen some really nice geometric table tops, barn doors, wall hangings, etc. I wanted to try and make one out of a single piece of plywood to keep it cheap and still have a nice tabletop we could use outside on our deck. This project uses a single piece of 4'x8' x 5/8" plywood and creates a 30"x48" table top. The legs are made from threaded steel pipe and are installed at a height that makes it just right for 'coffee table' height. With this instructable, you will be able to make your very own table with the top made of a single piece of plywood (Note: I inserted a piece of marble tile as a center piece but this is optional). All in, this project cost me less than $50 and has lasted over 5 years on our deck.
qty 1 - 4' x 8' plywood, between 1/2" and 3/4" thickness
Optional: piece of tile at least 12"x12"
Stain: I used colors below, you can use whatever works for you to match your design
Colors - Minwax Gunstock, Colonial Maple, and Black
Coating - Clear Wood Polyurethane
Legs: You can buy any legs you would like that can screw into the bottom. I made these legs using all 3/4" Black Steel Pipe/Fittings as below
qty 4 - Floor Flanges (with 3/4" long screws that fit in holes)
qty 4 - 8" Long
qty 4 - 10" Long
qty 2 - 18" Long
qty 4 - 1-1/2" Long
qty 6 - Tees
qty 5 - Couplings
Circular Saw with edge guide or gate
Alternative: Table Saw
Stain Brushes or Cloth
Step 1: Design the Tabletop
I used AutoCad to design the table top but you can use any CAD program or on paper. 30" x 48" is a pretty standard coffee table size and matches the short side of standard plywood so I stuck with this. I will cut a 30" section off of the 4'x8' sheet to use as the base, that will give me 48" x 66" to make the top. Keeping the blade width in consideration, this should give me plenty. The width of the different colors are 1.5" and I hatched them to create different designs before settling on this one, the hatches referring to different stain colors.
Note: I didn't include the marble centerpiece in the design, I added it later.
Step 2: Make the Cuts
Cut your base to size, in this case 30" x 48". The larger remaining piece can be cut into 1.5" slats. This can be done using a table saw but since I didn't have one at the time I used this edge guide to give me consistent widths.
After the slats are cut to width, you can start working on the cuts to match the design using a miter saw. Start with the outside first, using 45-degree mitered corners to match. Clamp these in place then work on the next longest pieces in the design. I started with the 'peaks' as seen in black on the final pictures following the dimesions in the CAD drawing. Then I worked toward the inside of these peaks, measuring the adjacent piece to make sure it matched the CAD drawing (Hint: It won't, use the longer dimension and cut down if needed). This is a lot of cuts so get comfortable with your mitersaw. Keep adding the pieces to the table top as you go so you can measure the subsequent piece.
Don't glue/nail in just yet, we will need to stain first.
Step 3: Stain and Nail in Place
This part is time consuming, but it will be worth it! After the cuts are complete and everything is in place on the base, you can do this step in two ways.
1. Clearly label each piece with a pencil to match the stain color, and remove these and organize them for staining.
2. Remove all of the pieces and set on the ground in an 'exploded' pattern. with several inches between each piece. Start with one color and stain all of that color, before moving onto the next.
Stain the 30"x48" base to match the outer color as you will be able to see the edges and if there are any gaps.
Wipe each piece after it has dried and put back onto the table top. Clamp the outer pieces and glue/nail them in place first to give a nice edge, then work your way into the middle. This is where I decided to put in the marble tile as a center piece but isn't necessary.
Finish with a clear polyurethane to help protect it form moisture and damage. This will give it a nice smooth/protective finish.
Step 4: Legs: Optional
If you want to make black pipe legs. The picture here shows how I made them using the supply list. You can use the couplings as feet and also you can thread them on to make the table level. Black pipe will rust so be careful on carpet, it gives a nice rustic color for outside though!
Alternative you can buy table legs online or locally and install to your fit.
Enjoy the new table!
Step 5: Enjoy Your New Table!
You can also use the top as a wall hanging, barn door, or whatever else you would like.
Participated in the