When I started I Like To Make Stuff a few years back, one of the VERY first projects on my list was a Lego table. At the time, we had two or three young kids and it just seemed like a no brainer. But as I tend to do, I wanted it to have a “thing”. I wanted it to me a little more than just a table with Lego plates glued to the top.  So, I spent a few years stewing on it.
In that time, I did several designs, several Sketchup models trying to come up with a way to make it kinetic and interactive.  I had lots of ideas about hinging play areas that would let you dump the blocks down into a bin.. lean out drawers, even some rotating things (that were a bad idea).

Eventually I started to scale back most of those ideas because they all presented a problem when making furniture for kids. Every cool thing I came up with, would also become a death trap for little fingers, or clothes, or Legos.  Finally, I settled on this design.

It’s got some hidden storage, some shelves for other uses and some moving parts without risking smashing fingers (soft close drawer slides).

So here it is, my Lego build table for my four kids.

 

I’ve got plans available for it if you’d like to make your own, and buying these plans helps support my projects!

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To start the lower shelves, I cut down some 1×3 pine to length.

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I cut one piece of each size, then used it as a template to cut matching pieces.

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These all got ripped down to be a little thinner.

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I also cut three pieces (and ripped them even thinner) to act as supports underneath the shelves.

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The shelf surface was made from a piece of 1/2″ plywood.

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I glued up the strips and fitted them around the plywood surface.

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I held them together with brads, so I could keep building, while the glue dried.

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I glued in the supports within the frame.

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These also got held in place with brad nails.

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Then I made a duplicate shelf.

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I cut down some more 1×3 into eight equal lengths for the legs.

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On one of them, I marked in 1 1/2″ from one edge, on one end.

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Using a straight edge, I drew a diagonal to the opposite corner.

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I used the line to help set the position of my taper jig.

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Once the jig was set correctly, I cut all 8 pieces with the same taper.

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I added glue to the surface where two pieces attached to make a single leg.

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These pieces got clamped together to make a leg. Notice one side is now longer than the other. This is intentional and I made two sets of matching legs.

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One leg from each set goes on one side of the table.

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I put the overlapped edge of the leg on the long side of the table.

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With the leg held in place on the lower shelf, I drilled a hole through both the leg and the shelf.

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I pushed in a dowel to hold these pieces together.

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With this locked in place, I added a dowel to the other side too.

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I removed the leg and dowels, then added glue to the surfaces and dowels.

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I cut shorter dowels, then knocked them in with a mallet.

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After all of the leg dowels for the lower shelf had dried, I cut them off with a flush cut saw.

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I set some temporary spacers inside each leg to rest the upper shelf on.

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I followed the same dowel process for the upper shelf, except that I kept the dowels in place on each leg until I had then all drilled to make sure everything stayed lined up.

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I added glue to the inside of the legs where the shelf sat.

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Then I glued and hammered in the dowels for the upper shelf.

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Using 3/4″ plywood, I cut some strips for the upper box of the table.

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I mitered one end of each piece on the table saw at 45˚.

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On the underside of that cut, I clamped the speed square right up against the cut.

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Then I flipped the board over and used the square to hang my tape measure. This allowed me to measure exactly to the inner side of the opposite miter.

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I cut all of the pieces to have the opposing miter cut.

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These pieces all got glued and clamped onto the legs. I made sure to line up the miters as well as possible before really clamping down.

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I cut two strips and a large panel of 1/2″ ply. These got glued together along the edge.

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I used corner clamps to hold the pieces perpendicular while they dried.

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I added some brads for added strength.

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I measured in the same distance from each end, on both sides of the table top.

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I added glue, then dropped in the box, lining it up with the marks. The corner clamps held it while it dried.

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I cut down more 1×4 pieces, mitered at 45˚ for the table top border.

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The top itself was 3/4″ plywood.

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I added my dado blade to make a 3/4″ dado.

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I cut a dado into one 1×4 piece and did a test fit.

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After I knew it fit well, I cut the remaining pieces for both sides of the table top.

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I lined up the longer side pieces of the top and clamped them together.

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I marked the center point and cut them both at the same time.

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I also cut the table top in half.

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The dadoes got plenty of glue, on all surfaces.

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Then I knocked on the border pieces around each table top panel.

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Again, corner clamps to hold the mitered corners tight while the glue dried.

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I lined up some drawer slides with the top and outer edges of the table.

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I predrilled the holes to mount them before screwing them on.

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I added a cardboard spacer on the top of the sliders before sitting the table top on them.

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With the slides fully extended and the table top lined up, I just screwed them together.

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I had to adjust several of the screws to get them to slide smoothly.

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With both sides on, I ran over the entire table with a sander, then a tack cloth to remove dust.

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Then the whole thing got a couple of coats of PolyCrylic

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I sat on two 15″x15″ Lego panels, and they actually hung over the border just a little.

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It turns out that the panels are actually 15 1/16″. 🙁

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On all six pieces, I used the disc sander to grind down the edges to make them fit.

NOTE: After this, I adjusted my plans so that this isn’t necessary. They should drop right into place.

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I used Lego bricks to cross the panels, to make sure that they were spaced correctly, and held their relative position. The 1/16″ gap between panels is important as well.

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For the two center panels, I cut them in half on the band saw.

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Each half of the cut panels needed to be slightly trimmed to match the table edge.

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I taped off the border then sprayed the whole surface with spray adhesive. NOTE: You get a much stronger bond if you spray both surfaces that you’re attaching. Let them dry, then press them together.

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Overall, the spray adhesive worked well for holding the panels in place, even when pulling bricks off of them.

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There were a couple of corners that seemed loose, so I added a little CA glue in those spots to lock them down.

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Finally, I dumped in all of our Legos … well.. not ALL of them, but most.

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