A staple in your man cave is the coffee table. It's where you put your brewski, put up your feet and drop your keys. While you could go and get furniture already made for you at a store (yawn) or scout the perfect piece of antique like Frank Fritz, why not DIY your own unique, masculine table? We can't think of any reason not to, either. Here are three great DIY guides for coffee tables. Follow them to make your own furniture or use them as inspiration.
dIY #1: Industrial Coffee Table
A modern, industrial look is all the rage right now, so why not bring it into your man cave too? Building an industrial coffee table is an easy and affordable DIY project that can be done within a day.
- Tools: Hacksaw, circular saw, and either chop saw or jigsaw with metal cutting blade
- Materials: 3 plated steel slotted angles (6ft x 2-1/4in), 16 lock washers (1/4in), 16 hex nuts (1/4in-20), 16 carriage bolts (1/4in x 3/4in), #6 - 5/8in Phillips Pan Tap steel screw, and half-pint Minwax polycrylic satin polyurethane
- Lumber: 23/32in x 2ftx2ft pine sanded plywood
step 1: trim the l angles
Trim the L angles to create the legs and rails for the table. For this table, the legs are 15in, and the rails are 18in.
Be safe: Wear protective glasses and goggles!
Once cut, file the ends until they are smooth. Tip: Cut through the ovals to save a bit of work.
If you are cutting the brackets with a hack saw, clamp them to a table first so that they are secure while making the cuts.
step 2: Make Connections
Start to assemble the parts. Connect one 15in leg to two 18in rails, using lock washers, nuts, and bolts.
Step 3: cut and attach the plywood
Cut the plywood to be 18-1/2in x 18-1/2in. Next, sand it and finish with a coat of polyurethane.
Once dry, place it face down on level ground and then flip the metal cube onto the wood. Attach the cube to the wood by putting a screw through any one bracket hole.
Step 4: Repeat
Repeat the process for each of the four sides. Easy? Yes, we agree!
DIY #2: Reclaimed Window Coffee Table
This is a great DIY option that you may not have heard of before! Take an old window and make it into a new coffee table. If you don't have a window already, you can pick one up for cheap at the local flea market.
- Tools: Nail gun and table saw
- Materials: 3 old windows (number of windows to use depends on size of coffee table you want), nails, wood glue, and Rust-Oleum Stops Rust 12oz Protective Enamel Spray, light grit sandpaper, and window caulk
- Lumber: 8 x 1inx6in whiteboards, and 2 x 1inx2in whiteboards
step 1: Cutting wood and Mitering
Cut the wood according to the measurements in the above Supplies box. If you buy the wood at the local hardware store, ask the staff if they will cut the wood for you. If not, use best safety practices at home by wearing goggles and work gloves. Next, miter the frame, and the legs.
step 2: attach legs to frame... and clean
Using the wood glue, attach the legs to the frame. Then use the nail gun to fix them permanently together.
Next, clean the windows. Wipe the dirt off the panes as much as you can. Scrape off any crusted-on caulking from the edges of the panes and then quickly sand by hand the edges. Caulk the edges, just to even them out; let it cure as per the product directions.
step 3: paint everything white
Okay, almost everything, except the windows. Cover the panes with newspaper and tape them in place. Then you can paint without worrying about making a mess on the glass.
Ta-da, you have a VERY cool, unique table for your dungeon.
DIY #3: cable spool coffee table
This type of coffee table is very trendy right now in the interior design world. It has a modern shape, lots of storage for books and magazines, and the spindle shape is a clever one.
- Tools: Power sander, cordless drill w/ screw driving and drilling bits, 1in spade drill bit, level, hammer, and wrench
- Materials: Wood stain, soft measuring tape or compass, 2.5in screws, 8ft of 1in dowel rods
- Lumber: Electric cable spool or reel.
step 1: get the spool and Prep it
See if you can get a cable spool free from a local electrical supply company. They might have old ones just laying around the warehouse and give one to you for free. Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask! It could save you a few bucks in this DIY project.
If the spool has a metal plate at the top, remove it. Also, hammer down any nails on its top to make for a smooth surface. Sand the top next to remove any imperfections in the wood, as well as to remove any unwanted stamping on it.
For the sanding process, concentrate most of your time on the top, which will get the most attention in your man cave and require the most work on it. Lightly sand the center cylinder, sides, and bottom to remove splinters.
Once the sanding is done, wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth. Apply a wood stain (one coat) and allow at least one night for it to dry.
step 2: markings for the dowels
Next, mark where you want to put in the dowels, using either the compass or soft measuring tape. For the DIY coffee table in this project, there are five dowels approximately 18in apart. Measure the dowels to go halfway in from the edge (so a 5in width would have a marking at 2.5in).
Put identical markings on the inside of the top and the bottom.
step 3: put in the dowels
Start drilling where you have the markings. Drill a 1in bevel where the dowel will sit. Measure space for the dowel to get its length just right; for this table, the dowel is 1/8in long.
Start by putting one end of the dowel in and then using a rubber mallet to hammer the dowel until it is level on both sides. On the flat end of the dowel, screw it to the bottom.
Repeat this process all around the table for each marking.
step 4: the finishing touches
Wipe down the whole table, top to bottom, with a wet cloth. Apply another coat of stain, if you so choose. If you worry about water stains, then apply an indoor wood sealant, as well.
Once the extra coats are dry, add your books and mags to the table. Top it with a can of beer and you're all set!
With three DIY coffee table ideas here for your man cave, there's bound to be one that will look great in your lair. As you can see, they are all straightforward projects and you probably already have a lot of the tools involved. Check out our DIY Guides and Tips section for more inspiration for your manly zone.