This space-saving coffee table is also a neat storage unit. It has open shelving for cushions or decorative items and two drawers to keep magazines, or to use as a place to hide the remote controls.
Adding four castors to the base makes it easy to tuck the table out of the way when space is needed.
Measuring 720mm square the table stands 450mm high and has two shelves and two drawers that are reversed on opposite sides to make the assembly balanced and strong.
The table is built from laminated pine panels with DAR pine used for the 250mm deep drawers and 3mm plywood for the drawer bases.
Biscuits are used to join the parts of the table so no fasteners are visible once the table has been built.
To finish the coffee table, apply two coats of clear polyurethane and add slimline handles to the drawer faces.
Make the drawers
The drawers are simply boxes assembled using screws with a face attached then runners secured to the sides.
Drawer runners range in length and are supplied as two parts per side. They are easy to fit to box-style drawers.
A gap of 12.5mm is needed on each side with one part secured to the drawer and the other to the table.
You can find standard 250 to 550mm long runners at hardware stores. They are available powdercoated in black, white or cream and rated for a specific weight.
Join the components of the table using number 20 biscuits and PVA adhesive. Attach the castors to the base of the table with 12mm x 8g timber screws.
Use 32mm x 8g timber screws to make the drawer boxes and secure the drawer bases with 25 x 1.6mm flat head nails.
Using a biscuit joiner
A biscuit joiner is like a small angle grinder with a baseplate and sliding carriage. A tungsten-tipped blade cuts a curved slot into an edge or face of material to be joined in corresponding positions and heights.
To hold the joints together, adhesive is applied to biscuits which are then inserted into the slots.
TIP Biscuits come in three different sizes, numbered 0, 10 and 20.
Mark the cut lines on the laminated pine panel and clamp a straightedge as a guide to cut the table parts using a circular saw, allowing for the width of the blade. Check for square with a builder’s square and combination square. Sand the cut edges smooth.
Set out five evenly spaced biscuit slots on the edges of the full end panel starting 75mm in from each end. Align the panel between the top and base to transfer the setout onto the inside faces. Adjust the biscuit joiner to cut in the centre and machine the slots.
Clamp an offcut to the base to act as a guide for the lower divider. Set out five slots on the divider edges and transfer the setout onto the base and lower face of the shelf. Cut the slots then repeat for the upper divider. Cut the biscuit slots for the short ends.
Dry assemble each biscuit joint and mark the outside face of each part on its corresponding component. Remove each and attach masking tape over the slots. Apply two coats of clear finish over all the inside faces of the table panels, sanding lightly between coats.
Apply adhesive to the slots in the base, tap in the biscuits and position the lower divider, short end, full end and centre shelf then clamp. Position the upper divider, short end and tabletop then clamp. Wipe off excess adhesive and leave to dry.
Cut the drawer components and position the front and back between the sides. Secure with adhesive and screws. Attach a base to each box with nails. TIP These drawers will suit 250mm runners, allowing 12.5mm between each side and the ends of the unit
Secure the drawer runners to the base of the drawer boxes. Using a combination square as a guide, set the mating runner 22mm from the front edge of the short and full ends. Secure the runners through the pre-drilled holes using the supplied screws.
Cut the drawer faces with a 3mm clearance on all sides. Drill 4mm holes through the drawer fronts and insert the screws so the tip just comes through. Position the drawers with the front on the face with even gaps, then secure the screws from the inside.
Sand the table with 180 grit paper and apply two coats of clear finish using a roller. Turn the table upside down on a soft surface and position the castors in the corners, 30mm from each edge. Drill pilot holes and secure with screws, then add drawer handles.