Coffee Table Part 2: Assemble


Our table is now fully assembled! It's simple yet functional, exactly what we're looking for to complete our kid-centered living room. One step closer to making our apartment more defined!

If you look closely, you'll notice that no screws are visible on the outside of the frame nor on the top of the table.

Unfinished coffee table

In order to accomplish the no-visible-screw technique, M used a joining style called 'Pocket Holes.' Pocket holes allow screws to go in at an angle. They are normally accomplished with the aid of a jig; however, M free handed these joints due to limited funds. We caution the utmost care and safety practices if you choose to free hand this as well.

Closer look at the pocket hole technique
Before I get too far in, let's do the short version first and the explanation later.

Step 2: Assemble

A. Tools needed:
  • Drill
  • 2" screws
  • Pilot bit
  • Wood cutouts from Part 1
  • Kregg Jig (recommended if you can afford it)
  • Measuring tape
B. Prepare boards:
  • Pilot the leg boards about half-way through the leg, a half inch above the base of the board
    • Four (4) 2" x 2" x 16" boards as shown below
  • Drill pocket holes in 8 boards at a 20 degree angle about a third (1/3) of the way in the board, then pilot an inch from the end. The pilot hole should be at the bottom of the hole.
    • 2 boards, size 2" x 2" x 19 7/8"
    • 2 boards, size 2" x 2" x 32 7/8"
    • 2 boards, size 1" x 2" x 19 7/8"
    • 2 boards, size 1" x 2" x 32 7/8"
  • For the 1" x 2" x 19 7/8" boards, drill pocket holes 4" from where the pocket hole is at the base
  • For the 1" x 2" x 32 7/8" boards, drill pocket holes 6" from where the pocket hole is at the base
  • Pocket hole 3 spare pieces at least 3 times, but never directly in the middle
C. Connect the boards:
  • Screw the boards together
    • The 16" boards are the legs
      • Screw together a 1" x 2" x 19 7/8" between 2 of the leg boards, and again between the other 2 leg boards
      • Screw together a 1" x 2" x 32 7/8" between 2 of the leg boards, and again between the other 2 leg boards
    • Screw in the 2 large pieces onto the 1" x 2" boards at the top of the rectangle
    • Screw in the two 1" x 2" x 4" pieces in the center of the table, bottom side
    • Screw in the bottom support of the table
      • Screw together a 2" x 2" x 19 7/8" between the 2 leg boards that have the 1" x 2" board of the same size and again between the other 2 leg boards
      • Screw together a 2" x 2" x 32 7/8" between the 2 leg boards that have the 1" x 2" board of the same size and again between the other 2 leg boards

And you're ready for the finishing touches, which is step 3 and soon to come!



For a more detailed explanation of the process, with pictures, continue on!

Starting from step B.

First, take a drill bit and angle it 20 degrees on a board. Pocket hole it half-way, then pilot the rest of the way. 

We chose pocket hole joints for our table because the extra space from the hole creates room for wood movement for when things get hot and humid or dry and cold. Before we started this blog, we tried screwing the tables directly in, but over the years, the table has become wobbly. Lesson learned.
A close up explanation of which screws do what

M also left a little extra space between the table top and the table supports. This is also for wood expansion in changing environmental conditions.
Top support and legs, pocket holed at the joints.

Here's the frame of the table. Each leg has 4 pocket holes, or screws. There's 4 connecting boards on each one, so that's one screw per connected joint. And again, for the piece we accidentally cut wrong.
Full frame. We directed to leave the bottom off until the table top was attached for a more comfortable experience

To connect the table, M screwed it in, 6" from the leg on the long side, and 4" on the short side. The screws supporting the table top are denoted in red squares.
Red Squares: Top Support Screws

I added the black circles to show where the leg joints were connected and to denote where the screws were.
Black Circles: Leg Pocket Holes
Red Squares: Top Support Screws
Then, for a middle support, M did a pocket hole screw three times per board in the middle, as shown in the blue triangles below.
Blue Triangles: Table Top Pocket Holes
Black Circles: Let Pocket Holes
Red Squares: Top Support Screws

Here's the clean version of the bottom of the table, with a total of 30 screws all together (counting the bottom of the legs, which are not shown in the picture).
Finished top with all screws in
And there you have it, folks! A neat coffee table with no screws visible! Isn't it beautiful so far? I can't wait to see it with the stain M does, the pine has interesting burrs and knots that'll be defined with finish.
Unfinished table take 2

M even rounded the corners for me. Neat!
Rounded corner. Yes, that's a toy pepper hanging out on the floor of our garage.

Want to see how it's going?

M is currently working on the staining and finishing process. He is going a bit darker than what we initially had, but it's looking quite dramatic in a fun way. Yes, that's pine! It does have the ability to look layered and unique!!
Dye only so far!

Thanks for checking us out, and have a great day!

MC

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