D.I.Y. wooden sofa arm table

leighton shearer
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D.I.Y. wooden sofa arm table

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Project Overview

A sofa arm table is a great addition if you’re short on space or don’t have a coffee table in your living area. It’s easy to make and because it’s not too big, you can easily pack it away at the end of the day. Continue to step-by-step instructions
bent nail
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How to remove a bent nail

If a nail bends as you hammer it in, don’t try to straighten it, just remove it. The easiest way to do this is to place a thin piece of timber beside the nail to support the hammer and protect the surface. Fit the claw of the hammer under the nail head and pull the handle towards you until the nail comes out. Keep the handle as close to vertical as possible so you don’t make the nail hole wider.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure the width and length of your sofa arm
2 Cut the timber to length
3 Measure and mark for the lip
4 Assemble the first side and the tabletop
5 Attach the second side
6 Putty and sand
7 Paint the sofa arm table
8 Enjoy your new sofa arm table
  • Step 1. Measure the width and length of your sofa arm

    Measure the width of the arm of your sofa so you can transfer that measurement to your timber. It needs to be snug, but not too tight, you don’t want to damage your sofa. Next, measure the length, you can make it as long as you like.

  • Step 2. Cut the timber to length

    To make sure your piece of timber is square, dock the end using a drop saw. Then, using a combination square and tape measure, measure and mark your timber. Cut the three pieces to length, ours were 350mm long. Don’t forget to wear your safety gear when using the drop saw.

  • Step 3. Measure and mark for the lip

    We want the table to have a lip at the top. So take the two side pieces, measure and mark a horizontal line 20mm down each side.

  • Step 4. Assemble the first side and the tabletop

    Apply a thin strip of glue along the long edge of the top piece and position it against a side piece. Clamp the side piece against your top piece of timber. Make sure it’s parallel to the 20mm line. Using your combination square, pencil a small indicator line for nailing across the end of the side piece. Use a nail gun to fix the two pieces together using three to four nails. If the nail doesn’t go all the way into the wood, use a hammer to tap it in.

  • Step 5. Attach the second side

    Repeat the previous step to attach the second side. Wipe away any excess glue.

  • Step 6. Putty and sand

    Fill in the nail gun holes with putty. Let it dry and then sand it with the orbital sander.

  • Step 7. Paint the sofa arm table

    You can leave your sofa arm table natural but we spray painted ours, wiping off some of the paint so you can still see the texture of the wood. You can wipe away as much or as little as you like. Then let the paint dry.

  • Step 8. Enjoy your new sofa arm table

    Once the paint is dry, you can put your table in place. Then it’s time to sit back and enjoy a cuppa on your homemade sofa arm table.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Clamps
  • Combination square
  • Drop saw
  • Drop sheet
  • Earmuffs
  • Measuring tape
  • Nail gun with DA50 nails
  • Orbital sander
  • Pencil
  • Putty knife
  • Rags
  • Safety glasses
  • Ventilator mask
  • Work gloves

Materials

  • 185mm x 19mm x 2.4m hardwood
  • Disposable gloves
  • Hardwood putty
  • PVA glue
  • 120 grit sanding pad
  • Spray paint
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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