Lift Top Coffee Table




Introduction: Lift Top Coffee Table

So I wanted a lift up table in the living room. Couldnt really find the one, that I liked, or was available at all, So decided to make one.

Start with scatching some altenaitives; it is not as easy as it sounds though; can take days, weeks to find out what you really are able to, and want to make :)

First I thought will not buy legs, only to use sqare wood for it; but found some, that I liked, and changed mind. It was not perfect, but solved will see.

My plan was: 50 cms high, meter wide, and 70 cms deep.

Lets see how it has been built up.

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Step 1: What You Will Need

Well, a lot of things:

4 legs

necessary amount of wooden boards, laths: one big piece for the bottom (100X70X2), long, and not so wide for aprons (90X17,5X2, plus two on the sides: 2times: 65X17,5X2), and top pieces: I have two of them. (70X35X2), and 35X35X2); some supporting laths for the bottom piece. I used beech for everything. Makes the table quite heavy :))

I deceided to make dowel joints, this seemed to be the easiest one (I wanted to avoid metal supporters), so you need dowels. Would not think at first, but I made cc 80-90 holes for the dowels...

wood glue

table saw, but at least a jigsaw: I only have a jigsaw, but tablesaw makes cutting much much more straight, especially when you have to vut a meter long...seemed impossible to me to make a perfect straight cut:)))

hand saw

a router....well, I bught a router for this project, because wanted to make some decoration at ends, and to make good dowel joints, you need to have sraight drills...I mean really staright....again: seemed impossible with a hand-driller :) There are some tools, that guides your driller (even ones, that you can make yourself).

Sanding eqiupments

Painting equipments.


Lift top mechanism. ( I didnt want to make it my own, so bought one.) I have a häfele.

Rough costs: wood, including glue, dowels, was cc 100 €;

the lift mehcanis: 40€

wood protector, paint, lacqer, brushes, sanding papers 30 €

Well, you will see the tools, in the steps. that I used, if missed something :)

Step 2: Doweling

That means drilling hell a lot of holes :)

So first: protect yourself: wear safety glasses.

And if you are like me, that use a router first time: read the manual carefully.

I used 8 mm dowels, where I had 2 cm thick wood, and 6 mm dowels, where I had 1,8 mm thick wood.

Fortunate choices, because router can take 8 mm by default, and it has a modfier to 6 mm diameter bits.

So I put a driller bit into the router: it is too long, so have to find out a set-up, that could work: you can see the pics, how I solved this. Clamped the legs together, and fixed the pieces between them to be drilled, in a necessary depth.

You will need to idenify the legs, and the connection parts not to mix up after the 40th hole :) So I numbered them, and indicated where the top part is.

Bear in mind, that routers are rotating way faster, than a driller, so can burn wood easily.So try to use it on a rev, that can drill the hole, so you can have enough pressure on it, but it doesnt burns the wood. My router has level from1 till 8. I used it on 2,5 for drilling.

Step 3: Cut Legs to the Size You Want

So my legs were designed for dining tables, so I had to cut it.

Step 4: Put the Base Part Together

I didnt have a board big enough, so I had to mosaic it together.

I bought 5 pieces of 80X40X1,8 cm wood pieces.

And start scatching again :)

You can see, that I needed to put 5 piece of components from the 5 block of wood, by cut out 9 pieces: measurements on the papers: which are already precise units, after a dry fit:

a base part: could only make out of three parts.

the top to lift

a small top

and two aprons, that I originally planned to cut from a piece of lath, but miscalculated, and didnt have a lath long enough; but fortunately had enough of the big pieces, that I could cut, and glue together.:)

Ane here comes to advantge of having a table saw. I had to file, and plane a lot to have (almost) straight and matching edges. Seriously: next time I would take those pieces to a place, where this is available.

After it dried (24 hours), I made a dry fit, to be able to mark the place for holes, that holds the lift mechanism.

So again drilling some more holes.

Step 5: Route

Now comes the fun part: the thing, that the router is designed for.

So as I mentioned: this is a first time I use a router; so again: read manual carefully, and wear safety glasses.

Routing is fun, but you have to install it properly to have a nice result.

Oh, two other things, that your neighbours will like you very much for:)) its f@cking noisy, and makes a big mess. You might have noitced, that I did this on my balcony, so have neighbours very close, in almost all directions :) So wear ear plugs too, not to hear when they"re complaining. But seriously: ear plugs are recommended.

So I made a test piece to see which design I like on the tops of my table. I made 4 edges. Again: refer to your user manual about the router bits, because depending on their size: you will have to choose different speed to route with.

Since its a messy job, its not so quick: one edge route, then cleaning ;-)

Step 6: Sand

Not too much to say about.

I used first 120, than 240 grid papers.

And found some 400, I used it on the top pieces.

So sanding is a job, that when you think its smooth still can be smoother :)

Oh...wear dust mask to avoid dust get into your lung. If you use a machine: refer to user manual.

Step 7: Put It Together

So time to put it together after a lot of dry fits, small modifications, checking angles, dowels fitting etc ;-)

Due to the layout, it can be done only all piece at the same time. Fortunetely I got quite 90 degrees at the corners, because otherwise I dont know, how could I adjust it with the tools I have.

Note, that the base plate is not fixed to anywhere, cause if it would, angles would have been defined by it.

So considering this: it's quite a challenge to put together this whole pack, with glueing, and tighten it. Took hours...

Step 8: Paint

Now comes the activity, that consumes time the most;-)

First you have to use wood protector: two layers; this is also provides, that wood will not soak that much of the paint.

So after two layers of protector, 24 hours drying time each), I painted two layers of "red pine" color woodpaint.

Sanding between layers. Not much, only some light sanding. Not machine is needed, so really lightly.

Step 9: Engrave Something

I thought to make some decorations on tops, so used a template with an indigo paper to draw it, and than engrave into the wood.

Refer to user manual of your tool again.

Step 10: Final Assembly

I didnt make pics, cause battery was off, but the small top, and the two side covers still needed to be fixed: so quess what: yes, dowels again: drill some holes, and glue parts together. This means an other 24 hours drying time :)

Step 11: Lacquering

Two layers of lacqer 24 hours drying time each, sanding between layers.

After you can install it to its place. :)

So thats it.

Oh, there will be a glass top to cover the empty part.

If missed something, whis can be the case, or not clear somwhere, go ahead, and ask :)

Probaly I will add some details later after read through;

So cheers;

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    5 Discussions

    This looks great! I would love to have a table like this in my living room! Thanks for the tutorial :)