Building Your Very Own Magical Floating Table

It's time to try defying gravity: build your own DIY floating table with this handy guide.
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can click on this alternative video link.

If you need a new table to display some of your valuables for your house or flat, instead of buying one, why not make your own? Better than that, how about making a gravity-defying floating one? 

Does this sound interesting? Then follow this short guide to find out how. 

diy floating table complete
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started. 

Materials and gear needed

Step 1: Sketch out your table

The first step is to grab a good old pencil and some paper and sketch out the rough design for your floating table. You can let your cat help (if you have one), or not. 

diy floating table design
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Once happy, we can now begin to build the floating table.

Step 2: Mark up and cut your lumber

With your materials gathered together, grab your lengths of lumber. Transfer them to your table design and mark out the angles to be cut and the lengths needed. 

For reference, this table will have a diameter of around 11.8 inches (300mm).

diy floating table mark wood
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

You will need to mark out the different vertical pieces and horizontal pieces needed for the floating table. 

diy floating table horizontal elements
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

With the measurements marked out, take your lengths of timber and clamp them to your workbench. Next, take your hand saw, and cut the timber to size and shape. 

diy floating table cut wood
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Next, connect the pieces together and mark out the joins between the wooden pieces to create joints. Once complete, mark out the centerlines of the wooden points. 

You will be joining the wooden lengths using rabbet joints (cutting out small rectangles from the surface to centerline depths of each wooden piece). 

diy floating table joints
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Cut the wooden joints as needed using your handsaw.

diy floating tables rabbet joints
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Once complete, file down and sand down the joints using your metal files and then dry assemble the pieces on your sketch to check dimensions are correct and the joints are well-formed. 

If not, adjust accordingly. 

diy floating table mock assembly
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Rinse and repeat to make a second wooden piece of the same dimensions.  

Step 3: Begin to assemble the table

With the wooden pieces cut out and formed, you can now begin to assemble the table. Apply a small amount of wood glue to each side of the rabbet joint, press the pieces together and clamp to hold them into place.

Most Popular

Leave the wood glue to fully dry. 

diy floating table glue pieces
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Once dry, remove the clamps and mark out the very center of each joint. To do this, draw two intersecting diagonal lines. 

diy floating table centers
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Drill a hole through the center of the joints, as needed and sand down each side of the drill hole to remove any barbs. Once complete, glue in a suitably sized wooden dowel through each side of the drill hole.

diy floating table wooden dowels
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Clean off any excess glue. Rinse and repeat for all other "floating" elements of the table. Next, cut off any excess parts of the dowel so that it sits flush with the main timber -- effectively making a wooden plug. 

diy floating table trim dowels
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

With that complete, clamp the pieces to your table, and use an orbital sander to clean up all exposed surfaces of the wooden pieces. 

diy floating table sand
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Collect the sawdust and mix it with some wood glue to form a thick wooden paste. With the paste, fill any gaps in the wood -- especially the dowel holes. 

diy floating table fill holes
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Leave to dry, and then sand the filled areas with your orbital sander once again. 

Step 5: Varnish and treat the wood and prepare the tabletop and base

With the main wooden elements complete, take your wood varnish and cover each exposed surface of the wood with a thin layer using a clean rag. 

diy wooden floating table varnish
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

With that complete, grab your tabletop and base. Sand down the surfaces using your orbital sander, as needed. 

diy floating table sand
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Where needed use sandpaper for curved edges. Once complete, apply a layer of varnish to the tabletop and base too. 

diy floating table varnish tops
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Step 6: Make the table float

Next, drill holes in the floating elements of the table to receive the cabling to make the table "float". You want three equal spaces along the top edge of each of the "floating" elements. 

diy floating table drill holes
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Take your drilled piece of wood and mark out its dimensions onto one of the wooden circles. Also, mark out the position of the drill holes too. 

diy floating table matching holes base
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Drill matching holes in the wooden circle, as needed. Do not drill all the way through.

Once complete, add wooden dowel into each hole and connect the wooden vertical piece to the dowels. 

diy floating table connect to base
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Check the join and ensure that it sits flush, and diagonal elements of the vertical piece match up at the same angle as the beveled edge of the circle. 

If not, adjust accordingly and then glue the pieces together. Clean off any excess glue as needed. 

diy floating table glue base
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Clamp the join, or weigh down the piece from above, until the glue has fully cured. 

For the floating parts of the table, drill small holes at the points that the cabling will be connected. Screw in the hook eye screws as needed. 

For reference, the two main vertical leaning L-shape pieces of wood will be connected with one short cable and the top and bottom with four longer cables. 

diy floating table hookeyes
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Next, mark out matching cable connection points on the tabletop. Drill the holes, and then insert hook eye screws into the holes, as needed.

diy floating table hookeyes top
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

You will want one in every "corner" of the table top and bottom to connect them together using vertical cables later. 

Step 8: Complete the table

Next, take your paper clips and open them up to make wires. You will need about ten of them for this table. 

diy floating table unfold paper clips
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Take lengths of your plastic cable, fold over the ends, and twist a piece of paper clip wire around the ends to form a hook in the cable. 

diy floating table cable hooks
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Trim off any excess pieces of plastic tubing below the twisted paper clip wire. Rinse and repeat to make all four cables to make the table.

With the cables ready, you can now complete the final assembly of the floating table. Take one of the lengths of cable and connect the two vertical upstands together. 

diy floating table connect cable 1
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Next, take the four longer cables and connect them up between the top and bottom of the table. Do this in pairs at diagonals to each other to make the process simpler. 

diy floating table top and bottom cables
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Once all four cables are in place on the top and bottom of the table, it is now complete. Now all you need to do is find somewhere to display your magical floating table.

If you enjoyed this woodworking project, you might like a new challenge. How about making your own handle for a giant razor?

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron