Introduction: How to Build a Milkcrate Coffee Table

In this instructable I will teach you how to make a milk crate coffee table that can also be your own message board. I will not teach you how to get the milk crates, you know how to do that.

I made this coffee table because the horrible losers that are residence life at my university finally gave me a room in which a living room could fit. So I needed a coffee table to go in front of my couch and behind my TV.

I did not intend to make this an instructable so I don't have pictures of how to do some of the early steps. However, they are simple and are done justice by a text description.

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

For this instructable you will need these tools

- Jig Saw
- Circular Saw
- Belt Sander and/or Sandpaper
- 3/4 inch box end wrench
- 3/4 inch crescent wrench
- Pliers
- Dikes
- Ruler, Tape Measure, and Square
- Pencil
- Notebook
- Coffee Can
- Drill
- Drill Bits
- Saw Horses (I used upside down trash cans)
- Broom for Vacuum
- Willing Friend

And these supplies

- 6 Milkcrates (depending upon there size)
- Zip Ties
- 4 Carriage Bolts
- 16 Washers
- 8 Nuts
- 4 Cap Nuts
- 31" by 24" of Plywood (this depends upon how big your milk crates are)
- Paint
- Sharpies
- Paint Pens

Step 2: Connect the Milk Crates

This is by far the simplest step.

1) Get out your Milkcrates, Dikes, Pliers, and Zip ties.

2) Put two Milk Crates Bottom to Bottom on the floor

3) Connect them with 5 Zip ties or more. I found that 4 on the corners and 1 in the middle was a good combination

4) Repeat two more times

5) Now you have 3 sets of 2 milkcrates zip tied together butt to butt. Now you have to connect the sides. To do that I used the same combination of 4 in the corners and 1 in the middle

6) Now you should have the base completed. 6 Milkcrates with their openings pointed outward. This is very useful to put your shoes in or N64 Games or to hide booze when your Res Life officer knocks on the door (don't let this happen, don't be a fool)

Step 3: Attach the Bolts and Measure

You may have noticed that the crates aren't tall enough to use as a coffee table. I agree. Now it's time to add a higher surface that you can doodle on.

1) Get out the nuts, bolts, washers, ruler, tape measure, pencil, and notebook

2) Find 4 symmetrical places to put the bolts (the symmetrical part becomes important if you plan to flip the board to doodle more)

3) Then attach the bolts by spinning a nut down to the bottom of each bolt (I recommend that you attach the rest of the nuts, washers, and cap bolts so that you don't loose them)

4) Now you need to measure for the holes in the plywood and for the size that you need the plywood.

5) measure the distance between all of the bolts and the length and width of your lashed together milkcrates

6) Record those values in your notebook with a sweet doodle.

Step 4: Cut, Drill, Finish, and Paint the Board

This is where all your high school wood shop classes finally pay off in a form that isn't a bird house.

1) Get out the plywood, circular saw, jig saw, drill, drill bits, pencil, notebook, coffee can, ruler, square, saw horses (or saw horse like objects), and your willing friend

2) First you need to mark the plywood for sawing. Get out your notebook and check your sweet doodles, and then draw them life sized on the plywood. A square and ruler are very helpful.

3) When you have both the locations for the holes and the lines to cut on you will need your willing friend.

4) Put the board up on the saw horses and have your willing friend hold it.

5) Cut along the line carefully until you have a square piece of plywood that is the same size as the top of your lashed together milkcrates.

6) Drill the holes that you marked

7) Make sure that the bolts fit into the holes that you drilled. If not, start over with a fresh sheet on step 1.

8) Get out the coffee can and draw a curved line where the pointed edges are and draw the curve with your pencil

9) Carefully cut along that line with the jig saw.

10) Get out the Belt Sander and round all edges.

11) Apologize for covering your friend in saw dust.

12) Hand and Belt sand all flat areas and edges to get a smooth finish.

13) Paint the board a color you can write on ( you can choose black but you'll need white paint pens)

14) Let said board dry

Step 5: Attach the Board and Enjoy

1) For this step you need: Cap Nuts, Washers, Nuts, Wrenches, Markers, and Friends who will write horrible/hillarious things

2) Attach the board with your nuts, washers, and cap nuts (the cap nuts are important so you don't cut yourself or your hilarious/horrible friends don't cut themselves

3) Put Coffee Table in living room

4) Sit on couch

5) Write horrible/ hilarious things with yo sharpies

Now you have the most kickass coffee table that your friends can all write on. When the board is full flip it over. When that side is full, paint it again. After several paintings it will be necessary to sand the board and re-paint it.


Step 6: Adding an Air Hockey Table

If you want to add extra coolness to your Coffee Table you can add AIR HOCKEY!

I got a table Air Hockey set for Christmas.  It basically consists of a puck that has a computer fan in it and two miniature Air Hockey Paddles.  The kit also came with two Air Hockey Goals.  I believe that this kit was purchased from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

1) Open the kit and Remove the Air Hockey Goals

2) Look through your tools till you find some random screws that are the correct size

3) Measure between the Screw Holes in the Goal and mark for two holes on each side of the table in roughly the center

4) Drill Pilot Holes

5) Screw in the Air Hockey Goals

6) Put batteries in the Puck

7) Have a Great Time