better homes & gardens

How to make a table (out of an old telephone table)
How to make a table (out of an old telephone table)

Gather your supplies

  • 1200 x 600 x 18mm plywood
  • 6 x 6mm DAR Tasmanian Oak, or similar, length to suit
  • 6mm toughened glass, cut to suit

You'll also need

Dulux 1 Step Primer, Sealer & Undercoat (water based); Dulux Wash & Wear Flat in Black; Dulux Aquanamel Semi Gloss in Venus Flytrap (lime green); Cabot’s Cabothane Clear Oil Based spray pack in Satin; combination square; small nails; PVA; drill and drill bits; 8g x 35mm chipboard screws; wood filler; power sander with fine-grit sandpaper; handsaw; painting tools; clear furniture protection bumpers; tape measure; pencil; pull handle (optional)

Here's how

Step 1

Remove padded seat from table. It’s likely to be held on with wing nuts underneath table.

Step 2

To create S-shaped sleeve that sits on top of table, position components A and B, using Telephone Table Diagram as a guide (above right) and form a butt joint. Glue, predrill, countersink, then screw together at join with evenly spaced screws. Continue this way with remaining components to form S-shaped sleeve. Fill screw holes with wood filler, let dry, then lightly sand.

Step 3

Remove drawer and unscrew handle. Lightly sand front of drawer.

Step 4

Undercoat front of drawer and S-shaped sleeve with Dulux 1 Step Primer, Sealer & Undercoat, remembering to leave edges exposed. Let dry. Lightly sand, then apply 2-3 coats of Venus Flytrap to S-shaped sleeve and front of drawer, allowing to dry after each coat.

Step 5

Lightly sand table and wipe off dust. Paint top of table and drawer housing in Dulux Black. Allow to dry. Leave legs as bare timber.

Step 6

Mark position of beads for glass top. To do this, set combination square to 6mm (thickness of glass) then run it and a pencil along top of both sides of S-shaped sleeve where glass will sit.

Step 7

Measure and cut beads to size from Tasmanian Oak. Glue then nail both pieces into position.

Step 8

Lightly sand edges of S-shaped sleeve to remove any paint drips. If you tilt your sander on its side, you can run it along sharp plywood edges to create a chamfer detail (a bevelled edge).

Step 9

Sit S-shaped sleeve in position on table. From underside, predrill evenly spaced holes through tabletop into edges of S-shaped sleeve, then drive screws in to secure to table.

Step 10

Spray table legs and sleeve with 1-2 coats of Cabot’s Cabothane Clear, allowing to dry between coats.

Step 11

Reattach old handle or attach a new one. Place drawer back in table. Stick 2 clear furniture bumpers to each side of beads, then position glass panel. Your new coffee table is ready to use.

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