How To Build a Coffee Table with Acrylic and Wood
Tips on cutting and drilling through acrylic panels to create an airy coffee table topped off with stained wood!
You really don’t need that much to build a table like this, assuming you have a drill, drill bits and sandpaper already. Heck if you’re like me you probably already have spray paint and wood stain laying around to save even more!
Here’s what I used:
- stain-grade spruce 20in x 4ft*
- 1/2″ acrylic-details below
- wood conditioner*
- wood stain*(I used Weathered Oak)
- satin polyurethane*
- drill bits-1/8″ and 1/4″
- 2-1/2″ wood screws
- (10) hinged screw caps*
- spray paint(satin bronze)*
- 1″x4″x4′ pine (Have it cut to length when you buy it!)
OK, the acrylic was the biggest unknown in this project for me. I needed a decent thickness to support the wood top. So the best price I could find for 1/2″ thick acrylic was online at freckleface.com. (This isn’t an ad but I love the name since I always had freckles growing up!) Now I could have ordered two separate pieces to get the two legs of my coffee table. But it was a little more cost-effective to get a large sheet and then cut it to size on my own.
To cut acrylic, you can use a wood blade on a table saw or circular saw. BUT you want to make sure it has plenty of carbide-tipped teeth. The only blade I could find in stock in our local hardware stores was for our 12 inch table saw. (I used this one.) Let me tell you-it cut so smooth! There were no rough edges on the acrylic after I was done. Since it was so thick and it’s acrylic, it goes slowly for sure. You certainly don’t want to force it through the saw and potentially cause it to crack or get away from you.
The dimensions of my finished acrylic pieces are 19.25 inches wide by 17-7/8 inches tall. Now, the reason it’s 19.25 inches wide is because that’s the width of the pre-assembled wood top I bought. So you could totally make it less wide or wider even!
Pre-Drilling with Pilot Bits
To drill the holes in the acrylic, I used a regular wood bit. You want a bit that’s slightly larger than the screws you’re using. The screw should be able to slip through the hole without carving into the acrylic. Mark where you want your holes and use the 1/4″ bit through the acrylic only. Then line up the acrylic and wood top and mark through the acrylic holes on to the edge of the wood. Drill holes on those marks with the 1/8 inch drill bit. Here you want the screw to dig into the wood so it has a good grip!
Do the same for the 1×4 support piece. I highly recommend having a support near the bottom if your table is as wide as mine is at 4 feet.
Paint, Assemble and Stain
Spray paint the screw caps if you want to make them gold like mine before sliding the screws through them to attach the acrylic to the wood. Then pinch the screw caps closed!
You can stain and apply the polyurethane top coat before you assemble if you want. You don’t have to worry about getting stain or poly on the acrylic that way! But no matter what order you do it in, let the last coat of poly dry for a full 24 hours before you set anything on top!
Be sure to watch the video above (you may have to click it to play) and comment with any specific questions!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
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