Magazine article Sunset

Strong Coffee Table for Inside or Out

Magazine article Sunset

Strong Coffee Table for Inside or Out

Article excerpt

You can build a base in an afternoon

SOME TABLES, especially those in a family room or outside on a patio, are destined for abuse. For children, "coffee table" is synonymous with footrest, snack counter, or stool. Exterior tables have different foes; they must contend with sun, rain, and potted plants.

With those realities in mind, we designed two sturdy, low tables that are easy to build and look good, too. Both employ the same style of base. One is an all-wood family room coffee table, the other an outside table topped with a piece of Arizona flagstone. You can modify the size of the base or top to suit your needs.

To build the base, you need a table saw with dado blades, an electric drill, a 3/8-inch countersink bit, a 3/8-inch plug cutter, about 24 2-inch wood-screws, wood glue, a square, a chisel, and a belt sander. For the indoor table, you'll also need four bar clamps.


The indoor table is made of vertical-grain fir. Its 30- by 48-inch top is secured to a 24-by 42-inch base. …

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