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.
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.
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Things you need for this build
- 2 Nos- 1 x 12 Lumber -1 in. x 12 in. x 4 ft. Kiln Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
- 1 No- 1 x 10 Lumber - 1 in. x 10 in. x 6 ft. Kiln Dried Square Edge Whitewood
- 2 Nos- 2 x 2 Lumber- 2 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board Lumber
- Wood Glue
- Varathane Traditional Cherry Gel Stain
Plan for the DIY Reversible Z Coffee Table
This project uses only standard sized lumber. This helps avoid any ripping with a table saw.
Here's the plan with the table reversed to get the other configuration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After this, we made the lower rectangular frame by applying wood glue in the joining faces and later screwing with 2-½” inch screws.
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.
We then placed the frame on the other side as well, to complete the basic 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.
We joined the two boards using dowel joinery. We used ¼" x 1" dowel pins to do this.
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.
We then fixed the four corner pieces on the table top as per the plan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other DIY Projects (complete with free plans) for you to check out: