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Merbau coffee table

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Merbau coffee table

120cm x 60cm x 43cm merbau coffee table with brass accent, polished to perfection (and reflection!)


  • 2 pcs 1200mm x 600mm x 18mm merbau panel 
  • 6 pcs 300mm long, 4mm diameter brass rod from hobbyco
  • off cut of 33mm merbau panel (or just get a 1200x300mmx33mm merbau panel)
  • dowels
  • titebond 3 glue
  • danish oil 
  • clear water based varnish
  • 5 pcs tapered furniture legs (100mm tall)
  • turtle wax polishing powder


  • LOTS of clamps
  • drop saw
  • track saw and tracks
  • drills to drill dowel holes
  • hand saw
  • self made dowel jig
  • sander and sanding discs
  • foam brushes
  • polish pads
  • trim router and home made router table
  • curved router bits


Step 1

The supporting posts

  • I first cut the offcuts of 33mm merbau into 50mm wide, around 400mm strips - all 5 of them
  • I then run them through the router to make them oval shaped - for imperfections just sand them flat with a 60grit sanding pad
  • I then cut them using a drop saw to 290mm long (so I can have 5mm in both panels to house the brass rods)

Screenshot 2024-05-31 170221.png

Step 2

The panels

  • I drilled holes for dowels using a self made jig that works both for the supporting posts as well as the panel itself
  • I stacked them together and rounded the corners by cutting a little triangle off with a handsaw, then smooth it out with 60 grit sand paper and a random orbital sander

Screenshot 2024-05-31 170150.png

Step 3


  • I predrilled 4mm holes to house the brass rods, aligning them perfectly with the posts 
  • the posts were aligned 45 degrees to the sides to create a lively presentation 
  • I first laid the bottom panel down and glued the posts with dowels into the predrilled holes
  • I then added glue over the top of the posts, with wife's help I was able to put the top panel on the posts.
  • Then I added a lot of clamps, wait over night for glues to dry.

Screenshot 2024-05-31 164333.pngIMG_0336.jpgIMG_0338.jpg

Step 4


  • while waiting for the glue to dry I already started applying danish oil on the bottom board and the posts
  • then on the second day I applied danish oil on the top panel as well, on both sides so the wood won't bow
  • I applied total of 3 layers of danish oil, in between I waited for them to dry for 4-6 hours, lightly sand down the surface before applying the next layer
  • I waited for the oil to dry for 3 days (get close to the panel and if you can't smell oil, it's dry)
  • I then applied 3 layers of water based varnish, again between each layer I waited and sanded 
  • To achieve a mirror finish, I polished the surfaces with turtle wax and a polish pad using my orbital sander

It came out really nicely and the table top is buttery smooth.


Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Merbau coffee table

Hello @toughgamer 


Thank you very much for sharing your coffee table's assembly process. That is a fantastic finish on its surface and the legs you've chosen for it are just outstanding. 


If I may hazard a guess, it appears that the TV cabinet along with the sub-woofer housing are all built in the same manner, yes? What timber did you use for the doors? Did you apply the same painting process to the cabinetry? I'm sure this project will inspire a lot of our members who are thinking about building their own coffee table.


Again, thank you for sharing such a wonderful project.




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Re: Merbau coffee table

Thanks Eric, indeed I built the tv cabinet and subwoofer housing first then took the idea I had for the subwoofer housing further to make the coffee table.


The doors were all made from a 1800x405mm okoume panel and the sides were chamfered with a trim router, I also used danish oil plus water based varnish for the finish. Danish oil really compliments the golden tone of okoume and the while thing looks amazing in person, photos don’t do any justice 😂

Home Improvement Guru

Re: Merbau coffee table

Good Evening @toughgamer 

Lost for words is about how I would describe that coffee table. Id snap it up if I saw it in a store! 

Beautiful work and those brass rodds really bring it up (apart from that polish!)


I hadnt realised that you had also built the display cabinet until I read Erics comment and a Sub Woofer Stand! Man I so want one now! :laugh:


Really high end work.



Cultivating a Following

Re: Merbau coffee table

Thanks so much for the kind words - woodwork is my favourite hobby, I find zen in the process 😆 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Merbau coffee table

Just also wanted to add my complements @toughgamer. The table looks fantastic. 


Well done and many thanks for sharing with the community. I'm sure plenty of members will be inspired by what you have achieved. 




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