Introduction: Pallet Coffee Table With Secret Compartment and Invisible Wheels
I made this coffee table entirely from wood I got from various reclaimed pallets I dismanteled.
- 2 hidden compartments for TV remotes, video games controllers, coasters, candles or anything you may need on a coffee table
- Invisible wheels, so you can take the table anywhere in the living room with no effort while keeping a minimalist style.
- Length: 123cm
- Width: 70cm
- Height: 45cm
- A number of planks and 7 lumber boards. From pallets, or wood from your store if you prefer.
- Nails and a hammer
- Screws and a screw driver
- Wood glue
- F Clamps (to glue the planks together)
- 2 long "piano" hinges
- 2 Magnetic Cabinet Door Catch
- 4 wheels
- Wood filler
- Sander machine
- Wood finish
If you plan on buying the wood, see approximate dimensions:
- 14 planks of 120cm * 9.5cm * 2cm (table top: 7 planks on each side). 2 of those sawed at a 20 degrees angle on one side.
- 2 planks of 96.5cm * 13.5cm * 2 cm (the 2 doors)
- 8 planks of 44cm * 13cm * 2cm sawed with a 45 degrees angle on one side (legs)
- 2 planks of 44cm * 12cm (sides of the table top)
- 4 lumber boards of 26cm * 10cm *10cm (legs)
- 3 lumber boards of 66cm * 8cm * 5cm (table top structure)
Step 1: Table Top
Using 3 lumber boards for the structure (one in the middle, and 1 on each side), nail as many boards as needed on both sides to obtain the result shown in the pictures. Nail on both left and right lumber boards, as well as in the middle.
- Try to tighten those planks as best as you can before you start nailing, so no space is left between the planks. It'll avoid you using too much wood filler to correct those gaps at the end.
- Align the top and bottom planks well on each of the extremities. Especially when using pallet wood, not all planks are of the exact same size so you may need to adjust. If there are some gaps in the bottom part of the table top, it's OK.
Step 2: Table Legs
The legs are composed of:
- 2 planks of the same length, sawed at 45 degrees on one side so they assemble well. The 45 degrees saw is not mandatory, but I like the end result.
- 1 lumber board on which the wheel will be screwed, so it must be large enough so the wheel can rotate without touching the planks on the side. In my case it was too small so I had to glue additional planks on the sides to make it larger (see the picture). In order to make the wheel invisible, you have to saw the lumber board to the right length so that the wheel is just barely uncovered by the planks.
- 1 rotating wheel
Nail the 2 planks to the sides of the table top, carefully aligning them so they assemble and leave no gap.
Place the lumber board inside, make sure it's well in contact with the bottom of the table top, and glue it/nail it to the planks. Make sure it's well tightened when you glue, using F-clamps
Screw the wheel to the lumber board.
Repeat the operation for the 3 remaining legs.
Step 3: The Secret Compartment
The angle for the hinge:
Before screwing the hinge, you'll need to saw the bottom plank of the table top to about a 20 degrees angle (does not have to be precise) to avoid leaving a gap when the hinge is closed, since it's never really 0 degrees. See the explanation for this on the pictures.
The plank for the door should be aligned with the table top and cover at least 2 cm more than the width of the table top, so it can hold horizontally when the door is open.
Screw the magnet inside the table top. If the alignment is right, you should need only one magnet in the middle. If the door leaves a gap on one side, sand off some width on the other side until the door closed on the whole length. Note: as you can see on the pictures, I had initially placed several non-powerful magnets but I realized that if I used more powerful magnets (up to 20 kilos), I would need only one.
Screw the corresponding metal piece on the door so they connect well when closing the compartment.
Repeat the same process for the door on the other side.
Step 4: Adding Side Planks
Nail 2 planks: one on each side of the table, between the legs. Make sure that they are on the same level as the table top, to obtain a flat surface. They should also be large enough to cover the width of the table top entirely.
Step 5: Wood Filler
Now you already have a decent table, but it will look so much better once all those little gaps in the wood will be filled, the table is well sanded and you apply a nice wood finish to it.
Step 6: Sanding
Start with a 40 grit everywhere, sanding off sufficiently to obtain a flat surface. Also sand off the wood filler that may be on the planks.
Then, finish sanding with a 180 grit.
Step 7: Wood Finish
Apply the wood finish of your choice. Personally I like the natural color of the wood so I used marine wood finish gloss without any coloring.