A coffee table is a practical piece of furniture that every home needs, and who can resist welding a table that will be virtually indestructible? A coffee table may be one of the most inexpensive welding projects around, with the metal materials costing roughly $30. The welds are relatively simple and shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete.
Lincoln Electric provides excellent plans for welding your own coffee table. While there are several plans and suggestions online for welding tables and coffee tables, the plans listed below will be based largely on the dimensions of the coffee table described at Lincoln’s website:
- Welding Table
- Metal grinder, approximately 5"
- Reciprocating saw or chop saw
- 2 squares – one large standard square and one small carpenter's square
- C-clamps, approximately three to be used to clamp project pieces to the welding table
- MIG welder
- Solid wire .025"
- Welding helmet with appropriate lens shade and safety glasses.
- Gas regulator and hose
- Shielding gas with a 75% argon, 25% carbon dioxide mixture
- Bending jig
1-1/4" x 1/8" thick square tubing cut to three different lengths:
- 4 pieces – 16" in length to be used as legs
- 3 pieces – 44" in length to serve as the top
- 2 pieces – 17" in length for end pieces
5/16" solid steel rod – for trim pieces (Length of pieces can vary depending on your taste)
Getting Started on a Coffee Table
Before you fire up your welder, you need to prepare your materials for the coffee table. Begin by cutting the 1-1/4" x 1/8" thick square tubing to the three lengths listed above. Also make sure your welder is set to the proper settings for the thickness of the steel you’re welding.
Since this table will ideally be used in your living room and not the back corner of your garage, test your settings on some scrap steel first.
Weld the Legs Onto the End Pieces
Using squares and your clamps line up the 17” end piece with a 16” leg so that they form a 90-degree angle and clamp them to the welding table with your C-clamps. The legs should be flush with the top of end piece and will eventually be flush with the table sides. At this point you’ll just make tack welds, and then you’ll finish the weld later on.
Repeat this process so that both legs are attached to the end piece.
Weld the Center Sections to the Ends
One of the assemble pieces should be placed on the ground with the feet pointing up. Clamp a piece of scrap iron to the legs with a C-clamp to hold the legs up while working on the center pieces. Use your large square to ensure that you line up the center piece to the end pieces and adjust your clamp accordingly so that the legs are at the correct angle.
At this point you’re just going to tack weld the inside angles of each joint. After tack welding both center pieces to one of the assembled legs, tack weld another long center piece of steel in the middle for added stability.
Repeat these steps for the other assembled legs.
Finish Your Welds on the Coffee Table
Stand the coffee table up so that that legs are now resting on the ground. Finish-weld the top seams that you weren’t able to access when the table was laying on the ground. Follow this by finish-welding the rest of the inside seams.
Before adding any other accessories, such as curved metal tubing, to your table, you’ll need to first grind down your welds so that they are smooth. If you do add some decorative metal to the inside angle corners of the table legs, be sure to only tack weld them on the inside so that no one can see it.
Final Additions to Your Table
How you finish your coffee table is up to you. You’ll certainly want to paint the table, but the top could be a piece of wood or a specially cut piece of glass.
For more information and specific pictures, be sure to check out the plans at Lincoln Electric.