Benchright Coffee Table

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 02/01/2012 - 08:38
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Build a rustic coffee table from pine boards! Inspired by the Pottery Barn Benchwright Coffee Table, this step by step plan shows you how to build your own for a fraction of retail cost.

Do we ever have a treat for you today!!!

My friend Ashley asked me to draw her up a plan inspired by the Pottery Barn Benchwright Coffee Table.  I've been want to post plans for quite some time, but with the complexity of this project, needed to enlist the help of a builder to make sure everything is doable.
Doable is the wrong word here.  I like astonishing, amazing or unbelievable better!
You can make this exact coffee table in the plan that follows.  But make sure you also check out Ashley's post for step by step photos, details on the finish, and a little about those drawers!
Thanks Ashley!  
Now you may want to wait until after the Superbowl to DIY this coffee table - would hate to see this beautiful coffee table covered in buffalo wing sauce!
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 – 1x12 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1x6 @ 8 feet long
2 – 2x6 @ 8 feet or stud length
1 – 2x6 @ 10 feet long (cut breadboard ends from this board)
7 – 1x3 @ 8 feet long
2 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1x4 @ 4 feet long
1 – ¼” plywood, ¼ of a sheet
2 sets 16” euro side/bottom corner mount white drawer slides
4 knobs
1 ¼” finish nails
2” finish nails
1 ¼” pocket hole screws
2 ½” pocket hole screws

Cut List

2 – 1x12 @ 4 feet long
4 – 1x3 @ 22 ½” long
4 – 1x2 @ 16 ½” long
6 – 1x3 @ 16 ½” long
1 – 1x6 @ 48” long
2 – 1x6 @ 21 ¾” long
4 – 1x2 @ 21” long
2 – 1x2 @ 19 ½” long
4 – 1x3 @ 46 ½” long
8 – 1x3 @ 3 ¾” long
4 – 1x3 @ 16” long
4 – 1x3 @ 17” long
2 – 1x4 @ 19 ¼” long
2 – ¼” plywood @ 18 ½” x 16”
5 – 2x6 @ 44 ½”
2 – 2x6 @ 27 ½”

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

This plan assumes the following board sizes.  Make sure you boards are these widths or this plan will not work right.  If your boards are a different width, you will need to rip to the right size or adjust the plan to fit your board widths.

1x12 11 ¼” wide x ¾” thick

1x3 2 ½” wide x ¾” thick
1x2 1 ½” wide x ¾” thick
1x6 5 ½” wide x ¾” thick
2x6 5 ½” wide x 1 ½” thick
1x4 3 ½” wide x ¾” thick

This is definitely an advanced plan because of all the
pieces and the drawers, so make sure you read through entire plan before
starting.  Also, I would recommend
cutting as you go for the best fit on trim boards. 

Start by attaching 1x3s to bottom of the 1x12s to create the
bottom shelf.  Use glue and 1 ¼” finish
nails.  Adjust for square.

Step 2

Mark all legs 4 ¾” from base and attach to the bottom shelf. Aternatively, the legs can be attached with pocket holes. Use glue and make sure the legs are attached square, with the distance between the legs equal all the way up.

Step 3

Once the 1x2 legs are on, add the 1x3 legs. Keep outside edges flush to make legs appear as one solid leg and check again for square. Also take a diagonal to ensure the table is square. This is very important because if your box is not square, your drawers will not slide correctly.

Step 4

Attach back apron to top back side as shown above. Use glue and 1 ¼” finish nails. Also attach end 1x2s to the back apron with 2” finish nails.

Step 5

Step 6

Measure and mark placement of center legs. Nail and glue to project, ensuring legs are placed square with bottom shelf and parallel to end legs with an equal distance between the front legs.

Step 7

Bottom shelf trim is nailed on flush to top. TIP: Measure and cut to fit for best fit. Attach side trim as well.

Step 8

The drawer frames also work to trim out the front of the project, so test after building to make sure they fit correctly. These are made with 1x3 boards for extra strength – if using pocket holes, drill two pocket holes per end. These must be built exactly square and exactly the same for the drawers to slide correctly.

Step 9

Install drawer frames in coffee table top, flush to the top as shown in diagram. Place back drawer frame to fit your drawer slides as shown in diagram. The slides need to sit ¾” inset from the front of the front frame to allow for the drawer face to hide the slides.

Step 10

Drawers need to be built 1” less than the opening width to allow for drawer slides. Build drawers from 1x3 boards, and attach plywood to bottom. Attach drawer slide drawer members to bottom of drawers.

Step 11

Fit drawers in cabinet, making sure they slide smoothly and easily. Remember the drawer face still needs to be installed.

Step 12

Drawer faces are nailed to drawer box with 1 ¼” finish nails and glue, with an even gap around all sides. Attach hardware – you may need to drill special holes to accommodate the drawer hardware with the double thick face by drilling through drawer box with larger bit sized for screw head, and drilling through face of drawer with bit sized for screw shaft.

Step 13

Remove drawers. Attach top to base as shown above with 2” screws and wood glue.

Step 14

And here's the top diagram.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Ed Acosta (not verified)

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 10:09

I think I will shorten the depth and make it taller use it as my shop work bench!!!!! Y'all Rock!!!

K.Taylor (not verified)

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 10:50

In the cut list it says 2 1x12" at 8 feet long, should that be 4 feet long instead? Just wondering since the materials list only has 1 1x12" listed.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 02/02/2012 - 07:05

you are addictive. it's worse than facebook, believe me. every day i have to check what ana has in store for her fans. and since seeing this site last week i have on wip 4 of your projects and many more on my to do list.

i love you and god bless
sarina -all the way from india (small world :))

Meghan Finch (not verified)

Fri, 02/03/2012 - 14:50

Beautiful! I noticed this project shows up in the Beginner Projects section, along with a few other Advanced looking projects. Are they supposed to be there?

Meghan Finch (not verified)

Fri, 02/03/2012 - 14:52

Sorry, I should have said that it shows up in "Starter Projects", not beginner projects. :)

LitchfieldHills (not verified)

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:16

Any suggestions on how to keep everything square as you progress. Just looking at step 2, keeping the four vertical pieces all parallel, while also making each on perpendicular to the base, seems a little tricky.

Guest (not verified)

Sun, 02/12/2012 - 09:01

I really like you plans and am going to make this coffee table for my daughter. One suggestion: On the cut list could you reference the piece of use in plan. ie- "1x2x21" boards - edging for bottom shelve" This would make it a bit easier but over-all plan is great and I will let you know how this comes out.

Chris E. (not verified)

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 15:30

I have 2 questions:

What type of wood did you use?

What did you use the 2x6's for? I can't figure it out.

This table looks awesome I can't wait to start making it!

Mike Meadows (not verified)

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 09:21

Chris- It appears as though the 2x6s are used only on the table top. Joined together with glue and pocket holes. Hope that helps.

I am not sure what type of wood Ana used, but am also interested to find out.

SilverStar (not verified)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:06

I love this table but I wondered if one of the modifications I was thinking of making on my altered version would compromise its stability. I wanted to take out the middle legs and just have the four corners with two drawers across the front. Any thoughts on how that might affect the stability of the table/drawers?

SilverStar (not verified)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:09

I love this table but I wondered if one of the modifications I was thinking of making on my altered version would compromise its stability. I wanted to take out the middle legs and just have the four corners with two drawers across the front. Any thoughts on how that might affect the stability of the table/drawers?

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