Introduction: UFO Table

I've always had a thing for modern furniture. It seems so simply, so minimal, so classy. The problem i run into is that I A: Dont have the lifestyle (or more importantly the bank roll) to justify a $4800 coffee table only to find that now i must shell out another $2300 for each end table. And B: It just isn't me. I WANT to have that room that has a cold, empty feel to it with an over-sized, priceless black and white print with maybe a skinny lamp atop a low pile black throw rug in the center of it all, but i have to be honest with myself, it would look like that for all of ten minutes. Which brings us to my answer for getting what i want while still being practical with my taste. I've taken my recent various woodworking methods and crossed them with my un-natural interest in life beyond our galaxy I give you, The "UFO Table" (complete with crop circles). Its a pretty basic style of table which i'm sure you've seen, but with a few simple steps, you'll have a modern piece of furniture you can be proud to display

... I want to believe


Bear with me, this is my first crack at doing one of these. I will try to cover everything as best i can. Its very rare i have any planning process prior to building something and this was no different. you can play around with any of these steps to custom fit it to your skill,budget and style. I used some extra scrap wood around the shop but basically, you will need

21inx21in square of any wood (oak,pine,particle board, plywood) (for table top, so use something that is indecent shape, but it will be painted, so it doesn't have to be perfect)

14inx14in square of any wood (one piece, solid, real wood with decent grain (this will end up being the leg stabilizer with the crop circles so it should be your best looking)

7inx7in square of any wood (should be twice the thickness as the top for mounting purposes and will not be seen)

3 2- 2.5inch diameter Table Legs (you can either buys these prefab or sand down some dowels.

6ft LED light strips (you can find these all over the place. If you cant find them in a store, ebay or amazon is probably your best bet)

6ft of 1/2in Plastic tubing (to hold light strip)

21inx21in sq. Hardboard (Masonite) (the bottom of the ship)

6ft strip of Plexiglass or Flexible Plastic about 1-1.5 inches wide This is the "lampshade" that the lights are sandwiched in between. I used plastic that was frosted on one side to mute the light a little. you can also buy a can of frosted spray paint, or even some thin masking tape would work.

Spray Paint (i obviously went with the silver, but a matte black would work as well)

Hot Glue

Wood Glue

Screws (you shouldn't need anything bigger that 1" 5/8)





1/8 in Router Bit

Miter Saw

Tape Measure


Sanding Block

Step 1: Cut the Ship Out

Take your three squares of wood and grab your jigsaw. You'll want to cut out the largest circles you can. I used a compass, but you can trace something you find around the house, or even use the ole 'pencil on a string trick'. You will want to cut the hardboard into a circle as well. Take some some time afterwards to lightly sand around the edges, and to prime the Top piece (the largest one) with either some primer or a light coat of whatever paint you're using. This will allow you to get a better, more even final coat when its time.

Step 2: Route Underside of Top and Glue Plastic

Measure in 1-2 inches from the outside edge of the Top piece. This will be the track for the plastic that serves as the middle of the ship. If you have it, put a collar on your router and go around the UNDERSIDE of the Top piece with an 1/8th inch router bit. You might have to go back with a larger bit depending on the thickness of the plastic you're using, but definitely start out small. You can always take off more. You want it to be snug. Dry fit the plastic in it and make sure its all ready to go before you start gluing. Put the hot glue in the channel and then make sure you have the plastic in there tight. If you have a little space at the seam of the plastic, dont worry about it. We will use that for the USB wire where it plugs in. Its a good idea to stack something heavy that covers the entire table on top and let it sit for a few hours.

Step 3: Lights and Bottom

When the plastic is nice and dry in the top, take some painters tape and and tape off the plastic. At this point I took the opportunity to put some caulk around where the plastic and table meet on the outside where its visible. I did a terrible job routing and this made it look like it never happened.

Take your lights and fish them through the tubing. The trick is to try and give them a 45ish degree angle facing up and out against the plastic. Once you have that done, you can coil the tubing in the underside of the top and take some large staples or angle (toenail style) some short screws to keep the track in place. Set is so the USB cable has an out at the seem of the plastic and fish it out. Make sure the lights work and everything is as it should be before we put the bottom on. Put the smallest round peice of wood, {7inch circle) in the center and work around it. after this is attached to the legs it will sit right there in side the middle of the ship. You then want to put four pieces of scrap wood, nothing to big, and glue them down so you have somewhere to screw the bottom to. The only measurement you need here is to make the scrap pieces flush with the plastic so the bottom sits plum.

After that's all dry, trace the 7in circle in the harboard bottom and cut it out. You can screw the bottom on. It doesn't have to go on so tight you'll never get it off again, we're more concerned with light escaping out of the bottom. If you turn it on now you will obviously see light escaping the bottom because of the circle, but no worries, that will be filled momentarily.

Step 4: Assemble the Legs and Crop Circles and Finally, Paint

Take your table legs, wether bought or made, and give them a 15 degree miter cut on both ends. Make sure the are going the same way on each leg so it sits flat. Arrange them equidistant in a circular formation and attach them from the top of the 7 inch circle. When you have this done, its time for the Crop Circle piece of wood (14inch circle)

I used a professional Lichtenberg machine to put the designs on, i know its not a normal piece of equiptment so engraving circles with a dremel tool, or using polyurethane to put an image on the wood is probably the next best thing. You can do your own thing here. Its all about what YOU want. You wilol have to place the wooding inside the legs and find out where you want it. You want to then mark it, cut out half circles where the legs are going to butt into the 'Crop Circles', and finally toenail some screws in from the bottom of the the 14in circle

You then want to take your two assemblies and paint them. Again, personal preference is king. I kept the bottom of the ship brown and taped the bottom of the legs off about 2 inches up so i could match the brown there.

Step 5: Assemble and Enjoy

Take your assembly of legs and place them in the whole we cut out of the bottom, drill some pilot holes and screw it in. Plug that thing in, and there you go, a piece of modern furniture that no person who likes likes modern furniture would ever be caught dead with. Kind of ironic, wouldn't you say so?

Step 6: Thats It!

This is the first time I've ever put something up in this kind of forum. Hope you liked it. If you have questions, let me know, I'd love to help out and get some feedback.

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