How to Build a Display Coffee Table
From our Hammer It Out series: Show off your collectibles with an acrylic-topped case that does double duty as a living room table
A cardboard box buried in the garage is no home for your grandfather's hand tools or your own hard-won collectibles. Why not showcase them properly, in a coffee table with a sunken inset and a removable top that you build yourself? With little more than a few lengths of lumber, some stock legs, and a sheet of acrylic, you'll have a DIY display coffee table that's fittingly handsome for the history on display.
RELATED: See all Hammer It Out projects.
Display Coffee Table Overview
Download fun extras including drink and food pairings to go with this project.
Our shadowbox coffee table cut list is based on table legs with a 2¼-by-2¼- inch section on top that's 5 inches long. This unturned portion of post provides the flats to attach the apron pieces; its width will affect the dimensions of the tabletop frame, so be sure to adjust your measurements accordingly if you go with legs of a different size.
1x5 apron: 2 @ 22½ inches
1x5 apron: 2 @ 46½ inches
1x1 support strips and edge strips: 2 @ 21 inches
1x1 support strips: 2 @ 45 inches
1x1 screw strips: 8 @ 4½ inches
Baseboard for tabletop frame: 2 @ 26½ inches (tip to tip)
Baseboard for tabletop frame: 2 @ 53½ inches (tip to tip)
1x1 edge strips: 2 @ 26½ inches (tip to tip)
1x1 edge strips: 2 @ 53½ inches (tip to tip)
Acrylic sheet: 1 @ 27 by 51 inches
½-inch plywood bottom: 1 @ 24 by 48 inches