Square Coffee Table

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jrichmond added on 6/15/2016

Square coffee table with a shelf underneath and plenty of overhang if you want to sit on the floor at the table.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Sanding and Finishing

Since this project, I have learned that it's much easier for me to sand everything and apply the stain and polyurethane as I go, rather than at the end. You can wait until the end if you prefer, but I'll make notes along the way, indicating when I would apply the finish, if I was to do this project over again.


Table Top

Cut nine 1x4's to 31.5", and drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. Use 1 1/4" screws to attach the boards, forming the table top. This was one of my first big woodworking projects, and I just got a kreg jig, so I probably went a little pocket hole crazy. You may be able to get away with fewer pocket holes, especially if you add glue into the mix.


Sign Your Work

Write a love note or your favorite Bible verse in between the boards. Nobody will ever see it, but you'll know it's there. :)


Table Top Trim

Cut two 1x3 boards to 31 1/2" and two 1x3 boards to 36 1/2", and drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. Make sure you measure your actual table top before making these cuts. Depending on the actual size, you may need to cut the trim pieces a little longer or shorter. Attach the trim pieces as shown, using 1 1/4" screws. Since finishing this project, I have had some problems with the wood expanding and shrinking throughout the year, so I had to go back and reinforce the bottom side of the corners with metal braces. Apply stain and polyurethane.


Top and Bottom Frames

Cut eight 2x2 boards to 19" and drill 1 1/2" pocket holes into the eight pieces as shown. These will be used for the top and bottom frames of the table. Apply stain and polyurethane.


Top Frame Countersink Holes

Drill 3/8" countersink holes into four of the frame pieces as shown. I just used the Kreg Jig drill bit, and made sure to not go any deeper than 3/4". These pieces will form the top frame and the holes will be used to attach the tabletop. If you drill the countersink holes deeper than 3/4", the screws may punch through the tabletop.



Cut four 3x3 pieces to 14" for the legs. Apply stain and polyurethane.


Assemble Two Sides

Assemble two of the legs to a top frame piece and a bottom frame piece using 2 1/2" screws. The top frame should be flush with the top of the legs, and the bottom frame should be 3" from the bottom of the legs. The frames should be centered horizontally on the legs with 1/2" on either side. Do this twice so that you end up with two sides of the table.


Diagonal Supports

There's probably much easier ways, but I did a lot of experimenting to get these to fit right. I ended up with pieces that are 9 5/8" long and about a 56.3 degree angle. Make sure you cut them too long to begin with and cut them down until they fit into the two sides you built. Once you figure out the correct fit, drill 1 1/2" pocket holes into the four diagonal pieces as shown. Make sure you switch up which side of the diagonals the holes are on like the image. There should be two of each direction. Apply stain and polyurethane.


Attach Diagonals

Attach the diagonals to the two sides using 2 1/2" screws. The placement of the diagonals on my table started at 1 1/2" from the legs on the lower frame.


Complete the Frame

Attach the remaining top and bottom frame pieces using 2 1/2" screws. Make sure the countersink holes on the top frame are facing down, with the pocket holes on the inside of the table. The pocket holes on the bottom frame should be facing down.


Attach the Tabletop

Flip the frame over and attach it to the bottom of the tabletop using 1 1/4" screws. Make sure the frame is centered on the tabletop. There should be a space of about 6 1/4" on each side. I had a difficult time getting my drill in between the top and bottom frame pieces to drive the screws, so I had to temporarily remove the bottom frame pieces. I have only recently learned about and purchased a right-angle drill attachment. If I was to do this project all over again, that tool would make this part significantly easier.


Shelf Planks

Cut five 1x4 boards to 20" and drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. These will be the bottom shelf planks. Apply stain and polyurethane.


Attach Shelf Planks

Attach the shelf planks to the bottom frame with 1 1/4" screws. The planks should be flush with the top side of the bottom frame (upside down in this image.) The outer-most planks should be flush with the table legs, and the rest of the planks should have about a 3/8" gap between them.



If you applied the finish along the way, flip the table over and you're done! If you haven't, apply your stain and polyurethane. If you go with the Minwax Wipe-on Poly, make sure the temperature of the room you're in is no more than about 75°F. I originally tried applying it in the middle of the summer, and ended up with terrible streaking because the poly was drying too fast in the heat.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(4) 1x4, 96", Board  
(1) 1x4, 24", Board  
(2) 1x3, 72", Board  
(2) 3x3, 36", Board  
(8) 2x2, 36", Board  


(78) 1 1/4" Pocket Hole Screws  
(44) 2 1/2" Pocket Hole Screws  
(1) Wood Stain  
(1) Minwax Satin Wipe-on Poly  

Parts/Cut List:

(9) Table Top, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 31 1/2"  
(2) Table Top Trim, 3/4" x 2 1/2" x 31 1/2"  
(2) Table Top Trim, 3/4" x 2 1/2" x 36 1/2"  
(5) Bottom Shelf, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 20"  
(4) Leg, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 14"  
(8) Top/Bottom Frame, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 19"  
(4) Diagonals, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 10 7/8"  


No extra details have been uploaded.  


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