Coffee table – Input needed

Car loaded with lumber

I bought materials for the most exciting project on my fall to-do list, our new coffee table. However, before I start construction, I need your input.

I’m going (roughly) with this plan from Ana White.

I love the idea of the drawers. So much in fact that I’m going to be doing four drawers, two on each side.

This addition may end up changing the dimensions of the table a wee bit, so I’m going to take it slow and buy more material as I need them.

The one area where I’ve bought absolutely no material is the top.

In Ana’s plan, the top is made out of 2x6s. A 2-by top seems very heavy to me. Unnecessarily heavy. Plus I’m not sure it’s proportionate with the rest of the table, which is 1-by. Our current coffee table (which is nothing special, but has served us very well for 10 years) has a top that’s half an inch thick.

In fact, our current coffee table isn’t all that different from the Benchwright table, minus the drawers.

So what do you think readers, a 2-by or a 1-by top? What would you do?

16 thoughts on “Coffee table – Input needed

  1. I think it depends how much you’ll be sanding the planks and how much abuse the table will get and what type of wood. With the overhangs on the edges that the photo looks like this table has, I can see if you used 1s them cracking more easily than if you used 2s. Especially if they are pine. But if the under drawers end up in your design flush with the edges, then they,would give enough support to not worry about using 1s. Hope you post your process as you make it, very interested in how you decide to make the drawers. Drawers have been a challenge I’ve always avoided. Sounds like a fun project!

  2. I might be looking at this piece incorrectly, but it seems like even though the bulk of the construction is made with 1xs, the way it is put together makes it look much chunkier. I think changing the top to one inch thick would look fine, but likewise, I don’t think a 2x top will look too heavy, especially since the 2x wood is really only 1.5″ inches thick.

    IOW – I’m no help! LOL

  3. I agree, the picture looks like the frame and top are the same proportion. If it is all 1x then a 1x top should look great. I would be concerned with strength of the frame to support the drawers, depending on how they are made. But the inspiration photo is beautiful!

  4. I would definitely stick to what the plan calls for, as I think the top would look to skinny/skimpy compared to the rest of the table if you made it thinner. It wouldn’t match (IMHO) the overall look and feel of the table (which I love by the way). I think the thinner top would make the rest/base look even chunkier and out of place.

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