Introduction: Guardians of the Galaxy Coffee Table


This is my first instructable, so we'll see how it goes. First, I've got to be honest, lots of people have done a big cassette tape coffee table, Nicolas Barrows has a great one. ( This is just my twist on it.

Also, warning, I didn't think I would make this into an instructable so I'm lacking on photos and I'm entering the competition a little late. Please forgive any missing photos or steps that might have helped.

I decided to make this project as a birthday gift for my brother -it is about 2 months past his birthday now, but hopefully he won't mind.

Here is a quick list of supplies. I'm a thrifty dude so a lot of these things were reclaimed from Sakaar.



about 1/4 sheet of 3/4" Oak Plywood (free...left over from a neighbor's project)

about 1/4 sheet 1/8" utility plywood (Home Depot $12ish for 4x8 sheet)

two 2x4's (Home Depot $6ish) 3/4x10"

pine (free...shipping crate)

1x1x.095 steel tubing 10' (East Side Steel if you live in Vancouver, WA $ market)

2x2x.095 steel tubing 1' (free from scrap bin at work)

2x2x.25 steel angle 6" (free from scrap bin at work)

adjustable feet (free...taken from some cubicles being thrown away)

assortment of paints (free...left over from other projects)

wood glue marine cup holders (Amazon $10ish gets you 4)


old cassette tape (for reference and scaling measurements)

cardboard (for templates)

pencil and sketching paper safe

welder (and required PPE)

brat gun


diagonal cutting pliers

speed square

vise grips

tape measure

table saw

dado blade set

chop saw

hole saws

angle grinder

Kreg pocket hole jig

clamps...pipe clamps, wood clamps

Step 1: Cassette Tape Scaling

Figure out your scale.

I measured the height of our couch and googled the average height of a coffee table... if you are super cool, you could look it up in Henry Dreyfuss' Measure of Man.

I settled on making the coffee table 18" tall

I also decided to scale the tape by x10 (I took artistic license and rounded the numbers to make it easy)

This is where pencil and paper are handy, do some sketching and a little light math. A little planning will go a long way.

Also: I should have printed pictures of the cassette tape in the movie. My cassette tape looked different, and my final design doesn't match the movie as much as I would have liked.

Final dimensions: 40x25x2.75"

Step 2: Cassette Rim

I ripped down the 2x4's to 2.75" with the table saw. Then dadoed (12/16th" wide) at 1/2" deep 7/8" from the top edge so that it would create an 1/8" reveal around the cassette when I placed the plywood. Clear as mud right? Hopefully the pictures help.

Next cut the 2x4's to length to create the rim pieces.

1 piece cut at 45 degrees on both sides. 40" point to point

2 pieces cut at 45 degrees on both sides. 25" point to point

2 short pieces mirroring each other (so you end up with a left and a right). 45 one side and straight chop the other. 6.5" point to flat edge.

Step 3: Plywood

Cut the plywood into a rectangle with the table saw.


Then do a little more math and use a hole saw to cut the tape-reels. If you choose to use marine cup holders, size your hole saw to their outer dimension.

I also chose to create a "step-up" in the middle of my cassette using utility plywood. Cut the utility plywood 3/4" longer and wider than the reel holes. Then round the ends and cut clearance holes centered on the reel holes for the cupholders.

Cut the tape head out of the 3/4" plywood. If I had to do it over I would add capstan holes too.

Glue all the parts together, sand, begin to paint, and seal it with a gloss. Sorry running out of time for details.

Rough sketch a depiction of Yondu's mohawk and cut out of utility plywood to attach to legs as a shadow effect.

Step 4: Welding the Legs

Figure your layout. I cut a lot of cardboard into 1" strips and then arranged them into a cantilevered design that I thought looked cool and could attach the Yondu "mohawk shadow" to.

Make 2 of the leg designs and then attach them with a center brace. I made my center brace in the likeness of Yondu's arrow.

Here are a few photos and a rough sketch.

Pre drill the holes needed for the feet and the table top, then wipe the assembly down and paint it.

Assemble the project and it's done. It is now 11:50pm on 7/20/20 and I am out of time.

If you made it this far thank you.

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