We have recently arrived at the need for a table to go behind the couch in Jordan’s apartment. We could just buy one, but that’s boring! He is super busy, and I wanted to make one ourselves, so I took on the task of designing it. This is what I came up with:

oak render.png

It is made of 1×12’s, 1×10’s, and 1.25″ x 1.25″ x 0.125″ angle iron. The top is on hinges and opens to allow storage in the center section.

Here we go.

Materials needed:

  • 1×12″ lumber
    • I used standard quality pine boards from Menards. I liked the look of the knots and didn’t care about anything other than straightness.
    • For an 81″ wide table, I needed about 25ft
  • 1×10″ lumber
    • Again, standard quality pine
    • I needed about 9ft
  • 1.25″ x 1.25″ x 0.125″ angle iron
    • Nothing fancy. I went for the rustic look.
    • For a 32″ tall table, I needed 8x 32″ sections
  • Paint+Primer for metal and stain for wood
    • I went with clear coat for the metal and a dark stain for the wood

Hardware and tools needed:

  • Hinges for the top panel
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • Sandpaper for cut edges of wood
  • Handsaw, circular saw, or table saw
  • Drill bits:
    • Size to clear shaft and threads of wood screw – for metal pieces
    • Size for pilot hole of wood screw (here’s a handy chart)
  • Hand drill
  • Sandpaper or flap disk/wire brush for angle grinder to clean rust off metal
  • Rubber bump stops if needed/desired for top panel

Prep work:

Figure out the sizes of panels you want. This will depend on the width of table you want to have at the end. Here’s my cut list for an 81″ table:


Keep in mind that lumber is not the actual size stated on the tag. Here’s a handy chart for actual sizes of lumber.

Sand any rough edges

Figure out where you want all the panels to sit. This will depend on the height of table you want. Pre-drilling the angle pieces is a good idea. A drill press is super handy, but not required. Here’s how I did it:

angle pieces.JPG

Drill these holes on both flanges of the angle pieces. You may end up with some unused holes, but they will not be visible when it’s done.

Clean the metal with sandpaper or an angle grinder with a flap disk or wire brush.

Paint the metal. I used clear coat, so I didn’t need primer, but primer is a good idea for colored paint.

You can stain the wood before or after assembly. I did it after so I wouldn’t have to stain the sides of the pieces that wouldn’t be visible, but it’s debatable which is easier to do.


Step 1:

Make sure all wood pieces that are supposed to be the same size actually are. Measure the length of the pieces that go in the top corners to see where you’ll need to put in the notch to clear the angle pieces. This can be done now or later, but you’ll have to use a hand saw if you wait until it’s partially assembled.


Step 2:


Drill a small pilot hole and screw the four outermost angle pieces to the corners of the longest board length.

Step 3:


Place the other angles pieces into the notches you just created. Screw into place.

Step 4:


Apply a strip of wood glue to the long edges of the 10″ pieces and put into place. Use the topmost holes in the adjacent angle pieces to secure it, then screw the piece firmly into place by running screws up through the bottom of the horizontal piece it sits on. The number of screws needed will depend on the length. I used 4 per side.

Step 5:



Apply a strip of wood glue to the top and bottom edges of the smallest vertical pieces shown. Place them into the channels made by the angle pieces, and place the horizontal pieces that go in the top corners. Screw the horizontal pieces in before running screws into the vertical pieces through the upper and lower pieces it sits against.

Step 6:


Place the smaller pieces.

Step 7:


Install hinges and top panel.

Stain if not already done (I haven’t yet). Done!


Questions? Let us know!