Plywood Coffee Table

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Project by kshipp posted 01-22-2008 12:07 AM 3740 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this table around a piece of glass I had sitting around for a few years. There is a chip on the edge so I knew I needed to encase the edges. The glass is sandwiched between two pieces of plywood for the top.
I would like to redo it in a nicer grade of plywood but this is what I could afford at the time. I designed it so the two parts fold flat for ease of moving and storage.

-- Kyle Shipp,

17 comments so far

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4270 days

#1 posted 01-22-2008 01:16 AM

Interesting concept, I like the fold down design.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3903 days

#2 posted 01-22-2008 01:40 AM

A very interesting table. The notches are quite creative for keeping things in place.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Gustav's profile


26 posts in 3752 days

#3 posted 01-22-2008 03:20 AM

If I may post a couple of suggestions, this is my first post so if I am out of line please forgive me.

I think you should paint it with a black high gloss latex and then maybe add a polymer finish and I could see it sitting in a modern art museum. If this is your own creation I would say you are truly gifted. I like it, it is a brilliant design.

-- I can build us one.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#4 posted 01-22-2008 03:38 AM

Gustav’s suggestion is a good one. You already have a great design…. finish it in black and you’ll have a very expensive-looking piece of furniture.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3818 days

#5 posted 01-22-2008 04:34 AM

Or veneer it.

Nice design.

-- Still learning everything

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4030 days

#6 posted 01-22-2008 04:55 AM

Nice design it might look good in a high gloss black – but you have to suit yourself with it and it you are happy, we will all be happy for you :-)). Gustav, I think that all suggestions and even comments are welcome here – as long as they are done in the spirit of moving the craft forward and not intended to hurt someone’s feelings. Your comment should have been well received and was a good one.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View kshipp's profile


179 posts in 3742 days

#7 posted 01-22-2008 05:22 AM

Certainly the comments were well received. I still don’t know what I want to do. The whole world of finishing is kind of a mystery to me so I’m trying to figure that out with different projects.
As rpmurphy509 said, “Still learning everything.” I think that’s why we are here to share and learn more.

-- Kyle Shipp,

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3838 days

#8 posted 01-22-2008 11:08 AM

That is a slick design. I would second the black finish with a poly topcoat. It would look great.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3777 days

#9 posted 01-22-2008 01:04 PM

Interesting and original.

-- Jiri

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4124 days

#10 posted 01-22-2008 01:49 PM

the adaptations to help with moving it is brilliant.
Love the design. Very unique.

I agree with all the comments above!!! You have a talent. Can’t wait to watch what comes next.

(Maybe you should whip up a mini-version and paint it black to see if you like it)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3946 days

#11 posted 01-22-2008 02:32 PM

I would like to see it finished. Shiny black sounds like a good idea. Pull the picture into photo shop (or like program) and paint it their first to see if you like the look, change the color around and try different textures. My wife and I do this all the time with pictures of our home so that we can both agree on what we want to do next. The last time we did that was with the grids on the windows, we made a few different pictures some with grids and some without until we both could agree. You get the idea :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4210 days

#12 posted 01-22-2008 03:14 PM

Great Idea, now just come up with a good finish. Nice. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View wildbill903's profile


53 posts in 3905 days

#13 posted 01-22-2008 05:42 PM

Very unique! Not my style, but I totally dig the setup. The finish will be key!

View Hibernicvs's profile


65 posts in 3831 days

#14 posted 01-22-2008 08:31 PM

My eyes are pretty poor, so I can’t tell if you did this already, but if you haven’t, before (re)finishing, cover the edges of the plywood with some of that iron-on veneer edging. The wood will cost more than the plastic or cloth, but is well worth it. I made a bookcase and used that on the edges of the shelves. The basic material was some 3/4 fir ply that somebody had tossed, but after doctoring it by “painting” it with heavily-diluted wood filler, sanding, and staining, I was asked where I got the beautiful antique walnut to build the case with. I was careful to use a very dark stain to hide some of the more obvious plywood-type grain. I used Minwax’s dark walnut, obviously, but I’ve also had success with Olympia and Minwax’s ebony on other pieces, finished with a first coat of gloss polyurethane, then a couple of coats of “satin” (matte) finish. I’m still trying to find ground pumice and rottenstone for the cherry on top, if the books I’ve read are any guide. (Have some fun: go into one of the box stores and ask for ground pumice and rottenstone and take a photo of the clerk’s expression; it’s almost as much fun as trying to find a hand drill … not electric, but hand ….) If you’ve layered the plywood (see above about the bad eyes), you can get very wide edging so it looks like a really thick slab of wood, if that’s the effect you want.

-- Hibernicvs

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 3977 days

#15 posted 01-22-2008 09:11 PM

Now this is doing some thinking and Gustav has added a bit of though. I think it was Cajunpen that talks of pushing the craft forward and your thinking has here. Personally I would go with a satin finish as the gloss will reflect too much differing grain heights of the plywood. The satin as Hibernicvs mentions will knock that topography down. If you can get a copy, take a look at “Creating Modern Furniure” by Dona Meilach, in it she has pictures of stack laminating plywood and sculpting, its a book from the 70’s, experimenting was part of woodworking and plywood was affordable. Check it out, you might like it.

That piece will fit right into your lifestyle when school is over and you “knock-it-down” for travel to your next location.

Nice work!!!!!

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