Plank Coffee Table

Carmen De La Paz explains how to make a streamlined, modern coffee table with a rural feel.

5 col

Difficulty: Medium

(10) 2” x 4” x 4’ lumber
(4) 16” metal legs
Drill with pre-drill bit and Phillips head bit
Wood glue
(2) 3’ bar clamps
(2) 12” bar clamps
(2) 1” x 4” x 4’ scrap lumber
Small box 2” wood screws
(12) 1” wood screws


Making the Tabletop:

  1. Line up five 2” x 4” x 4’ lumber next to each other, then stack a second layer on top. While you’re stacking, look to see which pieces of lumber have the nicest appearance and use them as the top layer (See image below)
  2. Stagger the top and bottom layers to your liking, but no more than 2” per pair. This will give the tabletop a modern look. Mark with a pencil the position of each pair (See image below) 
  3. Open up the first pair of lumber sticks and run a line of wood glue between them.  Press the sticks back together again, using your pencil mark from Step 2 as a guide for placement. Hold the two pieces firmly together with a 12” bar clamp at each end
  4. Flip over the pair of lumber so the underside is face up. This will be where you drill in screws to secure the pieces together. Using a pre-drill bit, drill six holes into the wood in the following configuration (See diagram and image below)
  5. Using a Phillips head bit on the drill, secure the lumber sticks together with 2” wood screws. Once the screws are in place, release and remove the bar clamps
  6. Repeat Steps 3 to 5 for each pair of lumber sticks
  7. Join the five pairs of lumber together by running two lines of wood glue between each pair and pressing them together (See image below)
  8. Once all five pairs of lumber have glue between them, place 1” x 4” x 4’ scrap lumber either side. Secure in place with two 3’ bar clamps. Tighten the clamps until there are no gaps between the wood pairs. Add more wood glue generously in the seams where the pairs connect. Leave the tabletop clamped together for 12 hours to allow the wood glue to dry completely before moving on to the next step (See image below)
  9. Once the glue has dried, remove the bar clamps and the scrap lumber
  10. The legs will be attached on the underside of the tabletop, where you see the screws. At each corner, measure 4” from the short edge and 1” from the long edge. Position the legs at the four corners (See image below)
  11. Secure the legs in place using a drill and Phillips head bit with 1” wood screws (See image below)


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