How to make your very own reclaimed lift top coffee table

Making your own coffee table could be one of the most satisfying processes known to man, but how about a coffee table that is not only perfect for resting your beers on but has the added function of lifting up, so you never need to move away from the couch to do your work or study.

In this day and age making your own from reclaimed materials is not only good for the environment but it is super satisfying and allows for you to bring new life to seemingly unwanted items.

If you have a passion for woodwork or you consider yourself a master at making crafty handmade items from repurposed materials, why not hold on for the ride and keep reading so you can find out how to make your very own reclaimed lift top coffee table out of old materials you have laying around your home.

Here’s what you need to make this brilliant and useful coffe


  • Reclaimed wood
  • Sander
  • Planer
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure


  • 75cm planks x 4
  • Nails and screws to assemble the planks

Step 1
Reclaim some old wood

In this first step, you will need to track down some old wood to use for your fancy new coffee table. Whether you have been saving it for a while or you need to scout out your friends and families backyard to get the wood you need.

Whether you find an old hot tub with wood surrounds or you have an old timber cabinet that isn’t being used anymore, either way, you should be able to find some great recycled wood that won’t need to go to waste.

Grab as much as you think you need and make sure you try and find similar wood if you are taking it from various sources,

Step 2
Take the wood to your drawing board and mock up a plan

The beauty of a reclaimed table is that the word will probably be a little rustic and unique, so it’s no cookie cutter process to design the furniture.

Creating a if top coffee table is a little different so take the time to ensure you have everything planned out to a T. The table will have a dual purpose of being both a great spot to put your feet on what you are watching TV and also a fantastic place to work or study in front of the TV.

Whether you go for a freestyle approach or a structured design make sure you have a concept in mind ahead of kicking off.

Step 3
Start off by building your frame for your coffee table


When you’re ready to start your coffee table the first step is building the frame – get yourself some hardwood if you can get your hands on it and use them for the frame of the base.

We used 1×2’s to frame out the base and then some small 45-degree supports to keep everything sturdy. Don’t rush this part of the process or otherwise you will wind up with a wonky table and your coffee will slide off.

If you want, you can also add casters on the legs once you complete the project so keep this in mind when measuring out the frame to ensure your coffee table is the right height.

Step 4
Create your lifting mechanism

We all love the idea of a functional piece of furniture and this little beauty is packed with plenty of features including a lifting mechanism.

To create the lifting mechanism, grab some hardwood from a left over pallet and cut it down to lengths of varying levels all around 1 inch to .75 inches.

The mechanical lift includes two pivoting arms on both sides that attach to cross supports on the lifting top with one at one end and a second at the base. Focus on the height you want to lift to in this step and also the overhand you want.

You will also need lock nuts, washers and bolts to connect everything together.

Step 5
Add the outside of the base to your coffee table

Now that the lifting mechanism is all sorted, you will need to add the outside of the table to the base. We grabbed some red hot tongue and groove boards which looked awesome but you can add anything you can get your hands on.

You will need to run the boards horizontally on the ends of the base and then vertically at the front and back. Once you have everything in place you then will need to glue and tack everything together with an 18-gauge nailer.

Step 6
Get a little creative with the top

Now you’re at the stage where you can add an intricate design to the top of your coffee table so it looks a little flash. We created a little coo design or you can just continue the style you have around the rest of the table.

Now you just need to add some wheels and you are away! Easy!

If you need a coffee table and you want to create something with a little bit of a spin on it – the lifting top coffee table will tick all your boxes. Whether you stain the finished product or leave it raw, the choice is yours. Just sit back, put your feet up and enjoy!

As you can see, making some pretty nifty items out of bits and pieces you have laying around in your back garden or shed is simple with Toolmates. With a little bit of initiative, you can make some very cool items that will not only be the envy or your friends but will be super useful for your next gathering.

We hope you enjoy and remember if you don’t have all the tools you need, why not borrow them from someone in your area using Toolmates, why spend money on buying the tools, when you can lend them for a little fee?

What’s the point in having a bunch of expensive machinery hanging around at home when you only use it once or twice a year? With ToolMates, you can rent those tools out to people in your area and make money off your used items! Find out how with ToolMates Hire.

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