The best pieces of furniture are those you simply can’t imagine living without – not only good-looking, but versatile and useful, too. This handy unit certainly fits the bill as it can be converted into practically anything – entertainment unit, stylish coffee table, mobile bench seat for two, bookshelf, drinks trolley... the possibilities are endless!
This item can be made from one sheet of 2100 x 900 x 30mm finger jointed (FJ) laminated pine. The 30mm thickness gives the chunkiness that really works for this project. Without paint and wax, the unit will set you back about $125 in materials and can be easily be knocked up over a weekend – hard to top that!
Gather your supplies:
• Top/bottom (2) 400 x 30 x 1150mm laminated FJ pine
• Sides (2) 400 x 30 x 360mm laminated FJ pine
• Divider 400 x 30 x 320mm laminated FJ pine
You'll also need:
Biscuit joiner; No 20 biscuits (12); PVA; 40 x 40mm aluminium angle or similar; 4m ratchet straps (2); furniture wax; 75mm swivel castors (4); square; Feast Watson Sanding Sealer; 0000 steel wool; combination square; tenon saw
Note: You can hire a biscuit joiner for about $45 per day or buy one from about $80.
Rip laminated pine sheet into two 400mm-wide boards. To do this, ensure power saw is unplugged then measure distance from the edge of base of power saw to saw blade (on our saw, 34mm). Subtract this from 400, then use this measurement to make a mark (here, 366mm) from corner of sheet at each end. Clamp a straightedge (a long offcut of timber or plywood that you know is straight) to side of sheet that will be outward, so it’s on marks. Cut along straightedge. Remeasure then reposition straightedge to cut second 400mm-wide board.
Cut central divider from 1 of the boards using a shorter straightedge. It’s 20mm higher than you may expect to allow for tenons of housing joint.
Corners of table are mitred. To make successful corner mitre joints, cuts must be made at exactly 45° and square across board. For first cut, clamp a straightedge about 110mm from 1 end of board and check with a square.
Lean saw over at 45° and set depth so you can cut all the way through timber. Ideally, make a practice cut first because occasionally 45° marking on saw may be slightly out, and even 1 degree will be noticeable in final result. Make sure saw stays hard against straightedge while cutting.
Check angle is 45° along length using a combination square. Adjust if necessary.
Mark out length of a side (360mm from long point to long point) on laminated pine sheet. With saw unplugged and still set at 45°, measure distance between far side of saw base plate and face of blade (here, 105mm). Measure this distance back from 360mm mark.
Clamp a straightedge to mark you just made, then make cut, making sure board is supported and clamped so it can’t move. Turn offcut over so mitre can be used for top, saving a mitre cut. Cut top, bottom and remaining side in same way.