Install cupholder in tabletop

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Forum topic by ynathans posted 04-25-2014 09:56 PM 1745 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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55 posts in 1712 days

04-25-2014 09:56 PM

Hey folks,

I’m finishing building a small end table—it’s based on Jord's woodshop build on youtube:

Since it will be sitting next to the barcalounger in the den, one modification I am making is to install a few marine cupholders:

The cupholder has a ‘lipped’ edge and I am wondering how to install it. The tabletop is 5/8” thick oak.

Here are the dimensions on it:

And here are the dimensions on the lip:

Finally, if it matters, this is the rabbeting bit I currently have.

I have other bits and could buy others if needed.

I imagine this is going to take a bit of precision so looking for the best way to do this to get it right. If it matters, I am going to be installing two of the cupholders in the table top.

Thanks in advance,


8 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2001 days

#1 posted 04-25-2014 11:34 PM

If you want to install the lip to be proud of the table top, you dont need that rabbeting bit. Just drill (or rout) a 3-3/4” hole and drop the cup holder in it.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View ynathans's profile


55 posts in 1712 days

#2 posted 04-27-2014 07:01 PM

Hmmm. Even tho there is a lip around the cupholder? (see the image below). Won’t the lip then just sort of sit on the tabletop and be unsteady? (And I was thinking it would be better to have it kind of recessed below the tabletop so as not to ever interfere with anything I put on the table).

Let me know if I am not making sense, and thank you.


View ynathans's profile


55 posts in 1712 days

#3 posted 04-27-2014 07:05 PM

Also, follow up question from a newbie that hasn’t worked much with circles or curves :)

What is the best way to draw a circle of 3 3/4” for cutting out? The best thing I came up with is to create a circle in Photoshop that is 3 3/4”, print it out and glue to the tabletop and then cut it out, but I know there must be a better way :) (maybe even a tool for drawing exact sized circles?)


View DanK's profile


25 posts in 2662 days

#4 posted 04-27-2014 07:14 PM

An inexpensive compass will draw the size circle you need. Set the points at 1 7/8 apart for a 3 3/4 circle.

View ynathans's profile


55 posts in 1712 days

#5 posted 04-27-2014 07:18 PM

Great, thank you Dan! (should have paid more attention in high school math)

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2431 days

#6 posted 04-27-2014 07:30 PM

Just use a 3-3/4” hole saw and drop the insert in.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View thetinman's profile


294 posts in 1533 days

#7 posted 04-27-2014 08:48 PM

If you were on a boat you would just drill the hole, calk around the lip, drop it in and wipe the squeeze out. No wobble after the calk sets. If you want it recessed, start with the hole saw that is big enough to pass the cup. Put masking tape around it at the depth of the the lip and drill to that depth. Now switch to the size that passes the cup but not the lip. Use the same hole (centered) and drill through. Easy chipout with a chisel of anything left on the lip. Seal the wood edges with poly or something.

-- Life is what happens to you while you are planning better things -Mark Twain

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#8 posted 04-27-2014 09:53 PM

Drill the main hole with a 1 3/4” hole saw, or if you don’t have a hole saw last it out, cut with a jigsaw, sand smooth. Use the rabbet bit to cut a 1/4” wide rabbet.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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