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Quick Project: Make a Wood Slat Coffee Table

This quick project shows how to make a wood slat coffee table where you can buy everything you need at Builders Warehouse.




Got some spare time on your hands for a quick DIY project? Here's how you can make a wood slat coffee table in just over an hour using materials that you will find at Builders Warehouse. The cost of the table depends on the size you make, but the one shown here will cost around R600 to make.



This is a really easy table to make, and it looks stylish and trendy once finished. However, I must add that if I was making the table, I would probably add a glass top. Why? Because it would be almost impossible to clean between the slats all the time!


You can stain the table in any wood tint to match your existing decor, or you can paint it if you wish, and you can add your choice of legs to finish off the table. We like the angled wooden legs that give the table a mid-century look, but hairpin legs would look just as great and give the slat coffee table a more retro look.










Laminated pine shelf 22 x 455 x 1.8 metres *

PAR pine 22 x 44mm x 1.8 metres **

Wood glue

120-grit sandpaper and sanding block or sanding sponge

Legs and screws


* Laminated pine shelf comes in different widths and 1.8 metre lengths. The most suitable width for this project is 455mm, but you can adjust that if you prefer a wider coffee table. The widest laminated pine shelf is 610mm.


** A word of advice. It is better to go into the store to select the pine for this project. Buying online means that you can't check to ensure the slats are straight and free from defects.



Drill plus assorted bits

Orbital sander if you don't want to sand by hand

Quick clamps

Tape measure and pencil










Step 1

Once you decide on the length and width of your table, have all the pieces cut to size at the Builders store. Having this done beforehand means you need all the tools required for cutting to length and it makes for quicker assembly if all the pieces are already cut to size.



Step 2

Sand all the pieces before assembling, particularly the cut ends so that they are nice and smooth. When sanding the slats, try not to sand off too much, you still want the edges to be sharp-looking for best effect.




If you are staining or painting the table, do this before assembly as leaving this for the last will make the finishing messy. The same applies to sealer or varnish.


Step 3

Space the slats equally on top of the laminated pine shelf before you glue them in place and then glue them onto the pine shelf one by one to keep the placing the same. This is where it becomes important that the PAR pine slats are straight - not curved, bowed, or warped - as you need to press each one down to secure it along the length of the table. If there are any that do not sit flat, you will need to clamp these in place and weigh them down along the length until the glue dries.








Finish off the slat coffee table by securing the legs to the underside of the laminated pine shelf.



The wood slat coffee table can be used indoors or outdoors, but if being used outdoors, it must be under a roofed area and finished with a quality exterior sealer.





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