Mobile Coffee Table

  • Mobile Coffee Table

Create a compact storage system for the living room in a few hours. 

With a warm chestnut finish and castors for mobility, this sleek coffee table has a deceptively simple design.

The table is built from four boxes, made using laminated pine panels, that are joined side-to-back.

You’ll need two 1210 x 405 x 19mm panels, about $27 each, and two 1820 x 405 x 19mm panels, $40 each, from Porta Mouldings.

The boxes have mitred corners joined using PVA adhesive. The joints are reinforced with dowels, then the boxes are secured to each other using adhesive and screws through cleats cut from 19 x 19mm DAR pine.

Instead of using fluted dowels, we cut a length of clear 6mm Tasmanian oak dowel to length. 

This is a little more economical than using precut dowels, and will look neater as the exposed end of the dowel will inconspicuously blend in with the timber.

To give the coffee table a luxe look, apply interior stain in Chestnut and leave it to dry, then give it two coats of clear polyurethane. 

To finish, secure four 75mm locking castors to the underside of the base, 100mm in from the corners, using the supplied screws.

Cut the parts

Use a circular saw with a straightedge guide or a tablesaw to cut the 1210mm panels into eight 290mm sides and the 1820mm ones into eight 405mm tops and bases, with opposing 45º mitres on all the pieces.

Use a mitrebox and tenon sawto cut two 1800 x 19 x 19 lengths of pine into eight 365mm cleats.   

Step 1. Arrange the parts

Position the mitred pieces of each box face down on a flat, level surface. Arrange them in a linear sequence of side, top, side, base, then use masking tape to hold the pieces together. TIP Overlap the mitres slightly so the tension on the tape ensures tight joints.

Step 2. Make the boxes

Flip each sequence onto its back then apply masking tape along the edges of the mitres to make it easier to clean off adhesive. Use a brush to apply PVA adhesive into each joint then fold the pieces together to form each box, securing the last side with tape.

Step 3. Check for square

Measure the diagonals of each box. If they are equal, that means the joints are square. Adjust the box until the measurements are equal, then leave the adhesive to dry.TIP You can also use corner clamps to ensure the joints are perfectly square.

Step 4. Reinforce the joints

Use a drill with a 6mm dowelling bit to drill 30mm deep holes at the centre and 40mm from the ends of the joints. Apply PVA adhesive then tap in 6mm dowel. Leave to dry then cut them flush with a pull saw or chisel. TIP Use 20mm dowel as a depth collar.

Step 5. Secure the cleats

Drill and countersink offset pilot holes through two adjacent faces of the cleats. Use PVA adhesive and 30mm x 8g screws to secure the cleats flush with the top and base edges.
TIP The remaining pilot holes are for securing the cleats to the next box.

Step 6. Assemble the unit

Arrange all four boxes at right angles to one another then use adhesive and screws to secure them together through the cleats. Sand the table using 220 grit paper to remove all excess adhesive. Apply the finish and leave to dry, then secure castors.

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