DIY Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs

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DIY Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs

This rustic yet industrial coffee table might just be the easiest piece of furniture you’ll ever make. All you need is wood from the hardware store, hairpin legs and your favorite wood stain to make a high-end-looking coffee table on a budget. Hairpin legs come in varying sizes, making this project versatile enough that you can tailor the table to your living room.

Materials for making a DIY coffee table with hairpin legs

Things You’ll Need:

  • ½-inch thick 2-by-4-foot plywood
  • ¾-inch thick 8-inch-by-4-foot pine board, 3
  • One-by-four pine board, 4
  • Scrap pieces of wood
  • Brad nails and nailer (optional)
  • Clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler (optional)
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Pocket hole jig
  • 16-inch hairpin legs
  • Wood screws, 1-inch
  • Wood stain
  • Brush or rag for staining
  • Polyurethane wood sealer

Liberally apply wood glue to the plywood

Liberally apply wood glue to the top side of the plywood, and carefully arrange the three ¾-by-8-inch pine boards on top. Make sure all seams are tight and flush with the plywood.

Use a brad nailer and stainable wood filler to further secure the tabletop

Optional: Use a brad nailer to secure the boards before clamping, and fill any nail holes with stainable wood filler after the glue has dried.

Use clamps to hold the wood together as the wood glue dries

Clamp the boards together using a few scrap pieces of wood, and let the glue dry overnight.

Sand any rough edges

Unclamp the tabletop and sand any uneven edges. This is important for the following steps.

Use a miter saw for clean cuts

Using a miter saw, cut the one-by-four board to length at a 45-degree angle.

Test fit all four sides of the table

Test-fit all four sides to ensure that the corners line up.

Drill holes in the underside of the top

Using a pocket hole jig, drill holes in the underside of the top and attach the side pieces. The drill bit and screws used should come with the pocket hole jig, which should also have instructions for the drilling depth and screw length, based on the length of the two pieces being joined together. Drill three holes on the short ends and four on the long.

Drill wood screws into place

On a flat surface, line up the side pieces and screw them into place.

Mark the spots for the screws before drilling

Mark the placement and attach the legs using 1-inch wood screws. When I originally placed the legs, I placed them 2 inches out from the corner in each direction. When I flipped the table right side up and looked at for a while, it looked like they were mounted to narrowly, so I remounted them with one end butted up against the 4-foot side and 2 inches in from the 2-foot side.

Sand the table top prior to applying stain

Remove any sharp edges, and sand the top smooth.

Apply the wood stain of your choice

Apply your favorite stain, following the instructions on the can. I used Minwax Provincial 211.

Apply the stain and let dry completely

To finish it off, seal the surface. I applied four coats of satin finish polyurethane, lightly sanding between coats.

DIY Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs

DIY Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs

All that’s left to do is set up your coffee table in your living room and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Photo credits: Cameron Oden

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