How to Build a Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table
This Mid-Century Modern coffee table—styled after Paul McCobb’s classic creation—is the perfect table build for everyone from new DIYers to professional woodworkers. Widely renown for simple and timeless design, Mid-Century Modern furniture offers quick and straightforward assembly.
Learn how to build your own customized Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table with this guide. This is a great project to add some fun to your weekend.
- 1 table top
- 4 table legs with cleat bolts installed
- 2 cleats to attach the legs to the top
- 12 mounting screws (supplied with our leg and cleat sets)
- Power drill
- Measuring tape
It all starts with choosing the size of your table top. A good general rule is a top that is 1/2 to 2/3 the length of your sofa. Supply your own top or buy a completely customized top from us. The top in these photos is 20'' x 40" x 3/4'' with the Sting Ray edge.
Our classic McCobb Mid Century Modern Legs are offered in 4 species of wood: cherry, maple, walnut, and white oak. For a more polished look, consider adding metal tips to your table legs. Solid brass tips are offered in several finishes ranging from bright to dark to enhance any setting.
For an authentic modern look with legs lightly splayed, select the Angled Cleats, pictured here. (If you prefer the legs to be 90 degrees vertical, go for Straight Cleats.) To determine the best length of your cleats, subtract 3-4'' from the width of your top—cleats are best placed 1 1/2'' to 2'' from each table edge.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
For a long-lasting finish, we recommend applying Monocoat Natural Oil to the parts before you begin assembly. If you select a finished top and add finishing service to your parts, we will apply this for you. Alternatively, you can purchase it at our online store and apply Monocoat yourself.
Step 1. Lay the tabletop upside down on a smooth, clean surface. With your measuring tape, mark a distance 6 inches from each end of the table. This line is where you will attach the cleats.
Step 2. Lay the first cleat down and carefully position it so it its equidistant from the edges of the table, and square with the ends of the table. It should be 1 1/2'' to 2'' from each side, and 6'' from the closest end. If you’ve selected the angled cleats, make sure they face angled out toward the ends of the table.
Step 3. Position the cleat and place a screw into each of the cleat's 6 pre-drilled holes. Hold the cleat firmly in place and use a power drill to drive the mounting screws in. Caution: The screws we supply with our leg and cleat sets will work on a 3/4'' or thicker top. A thinner top—or driving the mounting screws in too far—will ruin your tabletop!
Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other cleat.
Step 5. One by one, carefully align the bolt on each table leg with its corresponding cleat hole. Gently twist until the threads meet, then rotate until the leg is seated snuggly. The legs can be easily taken off or on for shipping or storage. Flip the table over, and take a step back to see your creation.
We all love to create. At TableLegs.com, we think the best creation is one that leaves a lasting impression.That is why we are dedicated to bringing quick, easy, and beautiful furniture to living rooms all over the world.
Once you have everything set up, feel free to take a picture and send it to us! We love what we do and the designs we offer, and it is a truly rewarding experience to see our products in their new home.