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 it.you 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:
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...
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:)))
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).
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 enough...it 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;