DIY Reversible Z Coffee Table [Plans Included]

DIY Reversible Z Coffee Table [Plans Included]

DIY Reversible Z Coffee Table [Plans Included]

Hey guys, this is Susan. I'm here with a Reversible Z Coffee Table that you can DIY.

We were looking for something interesting to build and found a variant of this design and modified it to suit our home.

DIY Reversible Coffee Table
DIY Reversible Coffee Table

This coffee table is a reversible one. Meaning, it has two configurations. You can turn the bottom frame upside down and place the tabletop on it to get another look. The tabletop is not fixed to the frame, rather it is simply placed inside the frame.

Also, I urge you to read until the end to see the final pictures of the coffee table.

Plan for the DIY Reversible Z Coffee Table

This project uses only standard sized lumber. This helps avoid any ripping with a table saw.

Reversible Z Coffee Table Plan
Reversible Z Coffee Table Plan

Here's the plan with the table reversed to get the other configuration.

Z Coffee Table Reversed
Z Coffee Table Reversed

Note for the plans:

  • Pieces with the same color have the exact same dimensions. Detailed dimensions for each individual piece is provided in the steps below.
  • Please note the difference in dimension between nominal size and actual size. For e.g., 2 x 4 is the nominal size while 1-½" x 3-½" is the actual size, by convention.

How to Build the Reversible Coffee Table

Preparing the pieces for the Z Frame of the Table

This coffee table can be broadly divided into two parts. A frame below, which has a Z shape and a table top panel above.

The Z frame is made entirely of 2 x 2 lumber as shown in the plan below.

Reversible Coffee Table-Z Frame Plan
Reversible Coffee Table-Z Frame Plan

We first had to size the pieces for the frame. First, we made the top horizontal piece with one end mitered. We took a 2 x 2 piece and made four pieces with 16” length on the miter saw. Then we mitered one end at a 45-degree angle.

Then we went to make the middle part of the Z frame. The slanting piece. For this piece, we first made four pieces of 19-7/16" length and mitered both the ends at 45 degrees as shown in the plan image to get pieces of length 18-3/8".

Next, we made the two bottom horizontal pieces(pink in plan) with 35” length from 2 x 2 lumber again on the miter saw.

We then needed four pieces for the shorter horizontal piece for the top and bottom of the frame with 17-½” length. We made it from 2 x 2 lumber on the miter saw.

With this step, we were done with all the cuts for the frame.

Coffee Table Frame Pieces-Sized
Coffee Table Frame Pieces-Sized

As it is difficult to sand after joining, we did a thorough sanding of all the sized pieces from 120 grit to 220 grit at this point.

Joining the Pieces to make the Z Frame

Next, we had to go about joining the pieces to make the Z frame. We used a combination of screws and wood glue to join the frame pieces as per plan.

We first made the upper U-shaped portion as shown in the plan image below. We joined the xx” piece to the yy” piece with one end mitered. We used 2-½” screws for this. Two screws on both ends as shown in the plan below.

Joining the Z Frame of Table-Upper U
Joining the Z Frame of Table-Upper U

Then we joined the slanting middle piece to this U shaped frame. For this we first applied glue at the joints and nailed it in place. The nails came out through the sides a couple of times but we removed those stray nails. With the nails holding the piece in place, we used 1-½” inch screws to join the piece to the U frame as shown in the plan below.

Joining the Z Frame of Table-connecting the slanting piece
Joining the Z Frame of Table-connecting the slanting piece
Z Frame after joining the slanting piece
Z Frame after joining the slanting piece

After this, we made the lower rectangular frame by applying wood glue in the joining faces and later screwing with 2-½” inch screws.

Joining the Z Frame of Table-Bottom Rectangle
Joining the Z Frame of Table-Bottom Rectangle
Lower Rectangle-Z Frame
Lower Rectangle-Z Frame

We then joined the previously made frame to the lower rectangular frame by first applying glue and then nailing it in position. Then we used 1-½” screws to fix it in place as shown in the plan below.

Joining the Z Frame of Table-Joining upper and lower parts
Joining the Z Frame of Table-Joining upper and lower parts
Nailing the slanting piece of the Z frame
Nailing the slanting piece of the Z frame

We then placed the frame on the other side as well, to complete the basic frame. 

Completed Z Frame
Completed Z Frame

Making the Coffee Table Top

To make the coffee table top, we had to join a 1 x 12 piece with a 1 x 10 piece, both of length 35". If you don't have 1 x 10, you can rip the 1 x 12 to cut off the excess.

Reversible Z Coffee Table Plan
Reversible Z Coffee Table Top Plan

We joined the two boards using dowel joinery. We used ¼" x 1" dowel pins to do this.

Joining the boards with dowel pins
Joining the boards with dowel pins
Cofee Table Top after glue up
Coffee Table Top after glue up

Lastly, we made the four pieces for the four corners from 2 x 2 lumber at a 1-½” length, to get four pieces with 1-½  x 1-½ size (actual). These pieces help the table top from sliding off the frame.

Four Corner Pieces
Four Corner Pieces

We then fixed the four corner pieces on the table top as per the plan.

Plan for fixing the corner pieces to the table top
Plan for fixing the corner pieces to the table top
Fixing Corner Pieces on the board
Fixing Corner Pieces on the board

The table top is not fixed to the frame, rather just placed and it fits inside the frame. When the other configuration is needed, the table top can be removed. The frame can be then placed upside down and table top replaced in the exact same way.

The corner pieces help place the table top correctly and prevents it from sliding off the frame.

Setting the Table Top into the frame-Configuration 1
Setting the Table Top into the frame-Configuration 1
Setting the Table Top into the frame-Configuration 2
Setting the Table Top into the frame-Configuration 2

Finishing the Reversible Coffee Table

We stained the lower Z Frame with Varathane Cherry Gel Stain. For the top, we first tried a vintage aqua stain from varathane, however, we ended up disliking it. At that point, we could have either painted over it or burned it. We decided to burn it black.

Burning over the stained coffee table top
Burning over the aqua stained coffee table top
Burning over the stained coffee table top
Burning over the stained coffee table top

The table top curved appreciably after the burning. Therefore I suggest you stain the top instead of burning it. I had to correct the curve by burning the other side as well equally.

Applying PU over the Z Frame
Applying PU over the Z Frame

This was the DIY Reversible Coffee Table, and I hope you liked this project. Check out the final photos of the table below.

If you found this useful, and would like to try it, consider pinning the photos below to your DIY/Woodworking Pinterest Board.

DIY Reversible Coffee Table
DIY Coffee Table
DIY Coffee Table

Other DIY Projects (complete with free plans) for you to check out:

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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