This cedar-tone outdoor coffee table is a great addition to any patio or deck with a removable drop-down insert that can be filled with ice for a beverage cooler. The insert can also hold plants if you prefer! When extra table-top space is needed, just cover the insert with the lid that sits flush.

Difficulty moderate


Kreg Tools

Other Tools

  • Miter Saw
    Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
    Table Saw
  • Tape Measure
    Tape Measure
  • Drill (cordless)
    Drill (cordless)
  • Nail Gun
    Nail Gun
  • Sander


Wood Products

  • 7 Cedar-tone treated pine , 2x2 , 96"
  • 12 Cedar-tone treated pine , 1x2 , 96"
  • 3 Cedar picket - ripped to 2" strips , 1x6 , 72"
  • 2 Pressure-treated fill-it strip , 1/4" x 1 1/4" , 72"

Hardware & Supplies

  • 1 Thompson's Timber Oil in Natural
  • 1 220 Grit Sandpaper
  • 4 1 1/2" Exterior wood screws
  • 58 2 1/2" Exterior pocket hole screws
  • 50 2" Exterior 18 gauge nails
  • 100 1 1/4" Exterior 18 gauge nails
  • 1 Wood filler
  • 1 Cotton cloth
  • 50 3/4" Exterior 18 gauge nails
  • 24 2" Exterior 18 gauge nails

Cut List & Parts

  • 2 Insert frames , 2"x 2"x 23 1/2"
  • 2 Insert frames , 2"x 2"x 36"
  • 2 Outer frame , 2"x 2"x 23 1/2"
  • 2 Outer frame , 2"x 2"x 48"
  • 4 Insert support frame , 2"x 2"x 5 1/2"
  • 2 Insert supports , 1"x 2"x 36"
  • 4 Legs , 2"x 2"x 16"
  • 2 Cross leg supports , 2"x 2"x 23 1/2"
  • 4 Table top supports , 2"x 2"x 6 1/4"
  • 4 Table top supports , 2"x 2"x 3"
  • 2 Angle leg supports , 2"x 2"x 47 1/4" cut at 18 degree angle on both ends (parallel)
  • 2 Angle leg supports , 2"x 2"x 26 3/4" cut at 30 degree angle on both ends (parallel)
  • 3 Insert cross supports , 1/4"x 1 1/4" x 11"
  • 6 Insert cover planks , 5/8"x 2"x 36" (ripped from cedar picket)
  • 6 Insert cover planks , 5/8"x 2"x 12 1/4" (ripped from cedar picket)
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x 2"x 46 1/2"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x 2"x 25"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x 2"x 43 7/8"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x 2"x 22 1/8"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x2"x19 1/4"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x2"x41"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x2"x16 1/4"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x2"x38"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"x2"x13 1/2"
  • 2 Table top planks , 1"X2"x35 1/4"
  • 7 Lid planks , 1"x2"x34"
  • 1 Lid middle plank , 1"x1"x34"
  • 10 Lid plank supports , 1/4"x1 1/4"x8"


  • Build Frame Around Insert

    Drill 2- 1 1/2" pocket holes on either end of 36" & all 4- 23 1/2" 2x2s, making sure the drill bit collar depth is set to about 1" instead of 1 1/2". This difference is to ensure the 2 1/2" pocket hole screw doesn't go all the way through the wood on the other side. Attach these 36" boards to the 23 1/2" boards at 6 1/4" from each end, so that there is an 8" space in the middle. This should fit perfectly around the planter insert that has top dimensions of 36" x 8" and a height of 6".

    **ALWAYS use exterior grade wood glue when joining two pieces of wood before attaching screws**

  • Attach Insert Frame to Outer Frame

    Drill 2- 1 1/2" pocket holes (using the same collar depth as before) on both ends of all 4 of the 23 1/2" boards and attach them to the 48" boards using 2 1/2" pocket hole screws. Be sure to attach the insert frame to the 48" boards first, 4 1/2 inches from each end, then attach the remaining 23 1/2" boards flush in between the 48" boards, forming the outer frame.

  • Attach Insert Support Frame

    Drill 1 1/2" pocket holes (with same collar depth) into one end of all 4 of the insert support frame pieces that are 5 1/2" long. Attach them to the 36" insert frame pieces at 3" from each end using 2 1/2" pocket hole screws.

  • Attach Insert Supports

    Attach insert supports that run the length of the insert frame using 1 1/4" exterior wood screws. The insert supports should hit the insert support frame at 3" from each end.

  • Attach Insert Cross Supports

    Turn the entire table frame over and attach the insert cross supports (the thin fill-it strips that are 11" long) at either end of the insert supports and in the middle using 3/4" exterior nails.

  • Attach Legs

    Drill 1 1/2" pocket holes on one end of all 4 legs. Flip the entire table frame over again so the top is facing down and attach them to each corner of the outer frame using 2 1/2" pocket hole screws.

    *Tip* 2x2 cedar is slightly (about 1/8") larger than 2x2 cedar-toned pine and offers better strength and support for the legs when drilling and attaching the pocket hole screws. Because the legs support the entire weight of the coffee table, I felt it was worth it to use the more expensive cedar 2x2s for this part only.

  • Attach Cross Leg Supports

    Drill 1 1/2" pocket holes on either end of both 23 1/2" cross leg supports. Attach them to the ends of the legs so that the pocket holes are on the understand (facing up, since the table is upside down) and so that they will sit flush on the ground when the table is turned over.

  • Attach Table Top Supports

    Because the table top planks (1x2s) are attached in herringbone design, additional support is needed so that each small piece will have something to nail into. So, between the 23 1/2" outer frame and the 23 1/2" insert frame, 3" from both inside edges of the 48" outer frame, nail into place a 3" table top support using 1 1/4" nails.

    Using the same idea, attach the 6 1/4" table top supports going the other direction, but drill 1- 1 1/2" pocket hole on each end of the 6 1/4" pieces. You will want to dry fit the pieces before you drill pocket holes, as the length might need to be trimmed a bit to fit without being too tight. It should slide in easily, with no large gaps. Space the 6 1/4" pieces about 6 1/2" from the insert frame boards.

  • Nail Planks to Top

    The herringbone pattern on top requires lots of cuts but it very easy to assemble once all the pieces are in place. For the outer layer of planks arrange the long 1x2s (46 1/2") so that one side is flush with the edge and the other leaves a 1 1/2" gap for the adjacent plank. Allow some gaps between the layers so the wood has room to expand or contract with temperature changes, therefore not all of the pieces are exactly 2 3/4" difference. Cut each layer as you go and dry fit everything before attaching them to the top frame. Attach with 1 1/4" nails into the frame.
    *Do not nail last short length plank to allow for easy removal of the planter insert (since it overlaps on the edge of the insert).

  • Build Plank Lid

    Arrange remaining plank pieces (34" each) including the middle plank that is a 1x2 ripped in half to be a 1x1. Place the 10 pieces of fill-it strips that are 8" long across the planks so that it overlaps the outer planks about half way. Nail into place with 3/4" nails into each plank (that's a lot of nails!).

  • Attach Insert Cover Planks

    To cover the planter insert and frame, attach the ripped down pickets over the insert frame using 1 1/4" nails. Start at the top on the long side and nail 3 cover planks. Then attach the short side cover planks by nailing them into the end-edges of the long cover planks.

  • Attach Angle Leg Supports

    Attach angle leg supports by driving 2" nails into the other side of the leg where the angle support meets it. Alternate the direction the angles go, so that if one starts in the bottom left corner and ends in the top right, the adjacent side starts in the top left and ends in the bottom right.

  • Fill Holes, Sand, Seal

    Fill all nail holes with exterior grade wood filler, let dry and sand smooth using 220 grit sandpaper and an orbital sander. Also sand any sharp corners, edges or places where there may be splinters. Remove dust with a cloth, then seal the wood with Thompson's Timber Oil in Natural. This will enhance the cedar-tone and prolong the life and durability of the wood. Apply 2-3 coats of the Timber Oil, letting dry for several hours between coats. Let the table dry completely for 24 hours before exposing to the elements.