Yes, another welding project! Today I’m showing you how I made this DIY coffee table with welded steel legs. Now, I don’t necessarily need another coffee table since I’ve built a few recently (like this one and this one), but I wanted to experiment with different leg designs and also get more welding experience under my belt. Plus I really could use a larger coffee table in my living room/office. I realize that most of you don’t weld, but I hope you’ll still enjoy seeing the process. Be sure to check out the video here. If you want to make a similar table without welding, you can order pre-fabricated metal legs online.
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- Welder (I use this one and highly recommend it for beginners)
- Welding Table (I use this one)
- Magnet Clamps
- 1/2″ Steel Rod
- 2″ Flat Steel Bar
- Portable Band Saw (or angle grinder/saw with metal cutting blade)
- Angle Grinder with Flap Disc
- Wire Cutters
- Welding Helmet
- Welding Gloves
- Rusty Metal Primer
- Metallic Gold Spray Paint
- 3/4″ Screws (to attach it to the tabletop)
- Metal Drill Bit
- (5) 1×6 Boards cut to 29″ long each
- (2) 1×4 Boards cut to 28″ long each
- Pocket Hole Jig
- 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
- 1 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
- Stain (I used Varathane in the color “Provincial”)
- Satin Wipe-On Poly
- Foam Brush and/or Cotton Cloth
How to Make the Table Legs
Step 1: Cut Your Steel
First, I cut 2 pieces of 2” flat steel bar to 26” long each using my portable band saw. Then I cut (4) pieces of 1/2” steel rod to 16” long each, and (4) pieces at 19″ long each.
Step 2: Grind the Steel
I used my angle grinder with a flap disc to grind the ends of each rod as well as the flat bar. You have to have a really clean surface to weld, so any part that was going to be welded together I used my angle grinder on to get rid of all of that grimy residue. (Raw steel is super messy.) I tried to grind the ends of the rods to a slight angle to make them easier to connect but I didn’t do a very good job.
Step 3: Weld
I used my magnet clamps to position my steel bar upright. (These magnet clamps come in extremely handy, by the way.) I knew I wanted the outside rods to be angled in a bit, so I cut scrap pieces of wood to a 15 degree angle to use those sort of as a jig to lay my steel rod against to ensure they would both be welded at the same angle. I marked an inch in from each side, and lined up my angled scrap wood with those marks, then laid my 16″ long steel rod alongside each of them and used magnet clamps to hold them in place. This ensured that the rods would be welded an inch in from the end of the flat steel bar.
Once my outer rods were in place, I positioned 2 of my 19″ long rods creating V shapes that criss cross in the middle, and I placed them so that the 16″ and 19″ rods were 7 inches apart.
When I had them positioned where I wanted them, I tack welded them in place and then went back and finished up my welds, and then flipped it over and welded the other side. Then I repeated this entire process for the second leg piece.
Step 4: Grind Again
After everything was welded together I used my angle grinder with a flap disc to smooth out my very messy welds. Guys, I told you I’m a beginner so don’t look too closely and don’t judge too harshly!
Step 5: Pre-Drill Holes
I used a multi-purpose drill bit intended for use on metal to pre-drill holes in the flat steel bar so that I could easily attach it to the tabletop later.
Step 6: Clean
I wiped down the steel with acetone to get any remaining residue off before painting.
Step 7: Paint
I primed the legs with Rusty Metal Primer and allowed it to dry, then sprayed it with metallic gold spray paint.
How to Build the Tabletop
Step 1: Cut Your Wood
I cut (5) 1×6 boards to 29” long each using my miter saw. Then I cut (2) 1×4 boards to 28” long each.
Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes
I laid my 1×6 boards next to each other and then positioned my 1×4 piece perpendicular to them, and marked where the center of each board lined up with it so I would know where to drill my pocket holes. These 1x4s will be sort of mini bread board ends.
Then, I marked where I wanted my pocket holes to go on each 1×6 board just so I would remember which side I’m drilling into as I went along.
I used my pocket hole jig and the drill bit that came with it to drill pocket holes where I had previously marked. I wanted this part of the project to be super quick and easy, so that’s why I used pocket hole joinery. You could certainly use dowels or just do a glue up.
Step 3: Sand
I gave everything a good sanding with my orbital sander.
Step 4: Attach Everything
I used 1 1/4” pocket hole screws to attach each 1×6 board, then I turned it and attached the 1×4 pieces perpendicular to them on each end. For the ends, I used 1 1/2” pocket hole screws because the 1 1/4” were a little bit too short so they didn’t hold well. (If you check out my YouTube video you’ll see what happened!) I should’ve used glue too, which you totally can, but I build so much furniture that I like for it to be easy to disassemble.
Step 5: Stain
Next I stained it using Varathane in the color “Provincial.” I applied it with a foam brush and then wiped the excess with a clean cotton cloth. When that dried I sealed it with satin wipe on poly.
Step 6: Assemble
I attached the legs to the tabletop using 1/2″ screws, and screwing them through the holes I pre-drilled in the flat steel bar. I positioned them about 1/2″ in from the bread board ends.
Be sure to check out my YouTube video here!:
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