How to Build a Sofa Table

While blogging about my children is a blast, I can't create a space that captures the essence fatherhood without sharing other content besides...well, kid stuff.


To do that, I'm expanding Descent into Dadness to encompass a few other passions of mine - like woodworking projects! "DIY with DJ" has a nice ring to it.


I figured what better place to start than a custom piece built solely to fill the unproductive chasm in my soul. Paternity leave, am I right?


Also, apparently bloggers are supposed to establish some kind of weird, romantic ambience for tutorials - sipping red wine on an Italian terrace or pondering life's purpose in a sun-soaked meadow of wildflowers.


I, on the other hand, don't draw inspiration from Egyptian cotton or gourmet seafood to build furniture.


But picture this...7am on a Saturday morning, the caress of fresh pines and cedars fondling your nostrils in the lumber aisle of Home Depot.


The repeated downward chin nods to at least 15 other Caucasian dads, Pilot coffees in hand. Heaven on earth, right there.


Anyway, here's the goods (or woods).



Easy DIY Sofa Table with Integrated Outlet


Budget

$70-ish (excluding tools)


Materials List*

  • Lumber

  • 6 feet x 1 inches x 3 inches (x3)

  • 8 feet x 1 inches x 8 inches (x1)

  • 8 feet x 1 inches x 4 inches (x1)

  • Hardware

  • 1.5 inch wood screws

  • .75 inch 14-gauge staples

  • Miscellaneous

  • Power Strip (whatever type fits your needs)

  • 6ft interior extension cord

  • Wood Glue

  • Wood Filler

  • Silicone Caulk (paintable)

  • 120 grit sandpaper


*Based on length/height of my sectional. You may need additional 1x3's or longer top/ledger boards to accommodate larger sofas.


Tools List

  • Power Drill

  • 3-4mm bit for pre-drilling

  • Boring bit (12mm+) for jig entry

  • Phillips bit for screws

  • Compound Miter Saw (or Skill Saw)

  • Jig Saw

  • Detail Sander (or Orbital Sander)

  • Putty Knife

  • Hammer


Construction Steps


The design is fairly simple. I went for a sleek, modern look with the goal being function over statement.


For context, our family spends a lot of (quality) time together on the sofa, and that typically includes eating/drinking. Due to the length, there's never an ideal to place cups, plates, phones, etc. other than the floor.


Kids + cups in the floor = very, very bad idea.


In this project, I set out to fix this deficit of surface space AND, as an added bonus, establish a central location for remotes and phones to reside.


Step 1: Legs for Days


Using a compound miter saw, I cut each of the 1" x 3" boards to construct the legs. The goal was to match the height of my sofa for a flush surface along the back (31" tall minus the thickness of the top board).


Once cut, each 6 footer became two 31" sections and one 10" section. I split the 10" section further into two 5" pieces to create the top and bottom of the table legs.


Using the wood screws, each set of 4 boards became a table leg (sunk the screws and used wood putty to hide the heads). The result was 3 identical rectangles.


Table legs from underside.


Step 2: Top it Off


If you're lucky like me, the length of your couch is JUST under 8 feet. This makes constructing the L-shaped top very simple.


Using the compound miter saw again, I trimmed the top and ledger boards to length, then sanded the edges and corners for a smoother look. I attached the ledger board with industrial strength wood glue (left to dry overnight).


This held the boards together enough to allow for fastening the previously-built legs with screws from underneath the table.



Step 3: It's Electrifying


With the bones of the table together, I measured to the halfway point (46") and created a puncture hole with a flat wood boring bit (see picture).


This created an entry point for the jigsaw and a rough idea of where the extension cord would run to beneath the table. From there, it was easy to trace an outline and remove a section of wood to match the size of the outlet.


A word of advice, if you set your jigsaw guard just a hair inward, this will create a slight funnel effect when inserting the outlet. It makes for a snug, clean fit.


With the outlet in place, I used staples to pin an extension cord along the inner corner of the tabletop (where the peasants can't see my handiwork). The cord I chose was 8 feet long to provide ample slack near the end of the table.


The image below is from behind (again, where the peasants cannot see). There's only a couple fasteners in the picture, but after you've slugged 10-12 of those badboys, your cord will be nice and taut.



Step 4: Triple P (Polish, Prime, Paint)


After all the sawdust settled, I took a detail sander to the entire piece to smooth connections and round corners (kids are dangerous). One last sweep of caulk/wood putty, and we were finito in the shop.


Once inside where it wasn't 12 degrees, I chose to paint my table with a soft white. You could also use stain if you want an earthier, less modern look.


Drop cloth down, first coat on.


Look at that glorious, smooth finish.



The end result is a nice landing pad for our morning coffee mugs, a spot to charge phones, and more space for my wife to fill with indoor plants.



That's it! If you liked this or tried it yourself, let me know. I'm always DTB (down to build) and could use another reason or three to visit Lowe's.

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