Turned Leg Coffee Table

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 02/13/2012 - 13:45
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How to build a turned leg coffee table. Step by step plan included video tutorial to build coffee table.

Hello everyone and Happy Monday!

I know we've all got a wedding or two to attend this summer, and wanted to get started on some economical plans that you can build and gift. Instead of going to the ATM a few minutes before the wedding reception, what about spending a weekend building a coffee table?
And for those of you asking for a turned leg coffee table, or just an updated Tryde Coffee table plan - well, we went the extra bit and made a video for you! 
This coffee table is very very easy to build.  I took me about three hours in total, probably take you less if you aren't being watched by a camera!  I used standard farmhouse legs purchased from Osbourne Wood, but if you watch the video, at the end, you will see a coffee table made with smaller legs.  It's the same plan, just cut the aprons a tad longer to make up for the smaller (and yes cheaper and available at local hardware stores) turned coffee table legs.
Oh - and OF COURSE you can use the ideas presented in this video to build a Farmhouse Table with turned legs as well!  I'd either use a 2x thick top or add a few under table supports because no handmade farmhouse table we make is going to sag, right?  Just remember that a standard dining table height is 30".  
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

4 - 3 1/2" turned coffee table legs
6 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long

Cut List

7 - 1x4 @ 45" long (tabletop boards)
2 - 1x4 @ 24 1/2" (breadboard ends)
2 - 1x4 @ 16 1/2"
2 - 1x4 @ 41"

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
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

The key to a great tabletop is making sure all of your tabletop boards are cut to the exact length, and then joined with pocket holes from underneath. I like to clamp every screw just to make sure we are getting the smoothest edge to edge joint possible.

If you are using glue, be very careful not to let glue dry on the tabletop and stain the surface.

If your ends are not perfectly straight, there is no shame in trimming with a circular saw. It's about getting a great finished project!

Another consideration is to try to alternate the grain of the boards so the boards aren't all facing bark side up or bark side down. This is done to prevent your tabletop from warping in one direction.

Step 2

Once your main top is straight and square, drill 3/4" pocket holes on ends for attaching breadboard ends.

Step 3

Then attach breadboard ends with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws. Take a second to admire your tabletop and set aside :)

Step 4

Attach legs to end aprons. I like to use a scrap piece of plywood as a spacer to elevate the apron - just makes life easier!

TIP: to avoid any screw holes on tabletop, drill 3/4" pocket holes on aprons facing upward for attaching top in later steps.

Step 5

Step 6

If you drilled the pocket holes in aprons, simply attach through aprons into underside of tabletop with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and glue. Otherwise, attach through top into aprons.

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.



Tue, 02/14/2012 - 08:19

Ana I love this table! However the coolest part is that I was about to watch your video and got pulled away from the computer by one of my kids. I came back and my husband was watching it, after which he declared he was going to make this table. (I think he is having a hard time because I am using all the power tools and building and he hasn't built anything) I couldn't be happier because I would love to have him build with me. Anyway, I loved the color of the turquoise table in the video. Could you tell me what color paint you used? I just made your narrow cottage end tables and would love to do them in this color!

Also you are amazing! I really admire all you do and truly appreciate it! What is the best way to contact you if I have a request for a plan, or is that even possible?


In reply to by dmcarwin

Ana White

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 17:03

Hi there! Thanks! The turquoise is actually spray paint bought in the can. I can't recall the exact color, but it was a muted blue toned spray paint. Wish I had saved the label for you - so sorry!

Cindy from Indiana (not verified)

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 12:41

Oh for Pete's sake! Now I have *another* Ana White project I must do! I'm never going to see the light of day if you (and all the other awesome users) keep posting all these wonderful building projects! LOL

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 22:01

Hi Ana, was that furniture grade pine you were using in the video? It just looked so good, but you can never tell in a video.

I do understand why you don't specify what lumber you are using as it's different depending on your geographic location, but it would be nice to know just to compare or get an idea of what alternatives might give similar (great!) results.

Thanks so much.

Emily Frazier

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 07:27

Ana, I have been looking at your website for weeks. I love it. I cant wait to get started. For Valentines day I got a Kreg Jig Master kit to get started. I cant wait to try some of your projects.



Ana White

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 09:37

Hi everyone! The wood used for this coffee table is actually poplar. It really needed little sanding when done!

However, I missed the rustic imperfection found in pine on this project.

It's all a preference, as long as you are using straight square boards.


Wed, 02/15/2012 - 10:06

I just checked with my lumber dealer, and poplar is equivalently priced with pine, surfaced four sides. It's definitely not priced that way at the home center, but at lumber yards and other lumber dealers it should be near parity.

Poplar definitely needs a stain or paint (or a toner), because the wood isn't pretty. But it's commonly used as the underpinning for commercial furniture because when properly dried it's incredibly stable, not prone to warping, bowing or twisting.

Now I'm going to need to contemplate building something with poplar.

meganleiann (not verified)

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 13:06

Lovely! When you join planks for a table top like this do you go back and fill all the holes?


Wed, 02/15/2012 - 13:46


Those holes are on the underside of the table. There's also a lot of them. It's going to take a lot of work, and they're unlikely to be seen. I'd leave them because they're harmless.

Anybody under your table has other concerns, such as "who are all you people" and "why is there a marching band in my head?"

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