Are you a DIY enthusiast looking to make your own coffee table? Still confused about where to start? No worries! We are here to help you. In this article, you’ll learn how to DIY create a modern, trendy acrylic glass coffee table.
However, before you start your DIY project, there are a few things you must know.
What is acrylic or acrylic glass sheet?
It may amaze you to know that acrylic glass or acrylic sheets refer to a plastic material which has properties similar to that of glass. Like traditional glass, it will provide you with glass-like clarity and stiffness. It is known for its strength and sleek look.
You can easily mix acrylic sheets with solvents and adhesives. Though it appears to be like glass and has similar characteristics, you will notice that it is much lighter and resistant. Acrylic also has a few trade names that you may hear, such as PMMA, Perspex, Acrylite, and Plexiglass.
Clear acrylic glass sheets are not only sturdy and robust but, versatile and aesthetic as well.
Why should you choose acrylic glass over traditional glass?
Acrylic glass and traditional glass are two distinct materials. They will provide you with various benefits each. However, the following are the reasons that prove that choosing acrylic glass is the smarter choice.
- Cost: Acrylic glass sheets will cost you less than traditional glass. Because it is lighter, even the transportation costs will be less.
- Weight: Its weight is the main reason why you should opt for an acrylic glass table. Its lightweight is going to allow you to use it in a range of areas such as roofing and glazing. Glass, on the other hand, is weightier and denser. Acrylic’s weight makes it ideal for you to use for your DIY projects. You can lift and maneuver it with ease.
- Transparency: As soon as you think of the word ‘glass,’ a clear, transparent object will materialize in your mind. Even though optical clarity is a crucial feature of glass, acrylic glass sheets can provide you with the same quality. However, it also can filter your exposure to ultraviolet rays. It is also a proven fact that thick pieces of glass tend to look milky or cloudy on reaching a specific thickness level. But, thick panes of acrylic glass will give you a clear view. Therefore, your acrylic glass coffee table will not develop moisture that hinders its clarity.
- Impact resistance: Acrylic glass tables can withstand weight 20 times more than regular glass. There is very little chance of it breaking. In the case that it does shatter, you will only have to deal with large pieces of plastic with blunt edges. Thus, you will be safe from cutting yourself. Additionally, because of its flex and tolerance, you can work with acrylic with fewer chances of hurting yourself.
- Durability: As aforementioned, acrylic glass sheets are tougher and hence, will last longer than glass. You will not have to replace your coffee table anytime soon or worry about its deterioration since it has a durable life span.
- Versatility: If you heat acrylic, it can easily be molded into any shape you want. Once it cools down, it will remain in the formed shape. Thus, you can drill it, machine it, or even saw it. Its thermoplastic abilities allow you to cut it down with ease as well.
- Convenience: Acrylic glass tables do not require you to put in too much effort to clean them. Where glass may get blotted and often become cloudy, acrylic sheets do not have such limitations. You can wipe them down with a wet cloth and minimal effort. Voila! Now you have a clean surface.
Tools needed to make acrylic glass coffee table
Though acrylic glass sheets can be easily cut and molded, you will require the proper hardware and tools. Choose the right kind of materials to ensure that you have no trouble when shaping out your coffee table.
The thickness of your acrylic glass determines the tool to be used. If it is thin, then all you need is a utility knife for scoring. Since you are making a coffee table, your acrylic sheet is likely to fall in the thick category. For that, you will need a saw. It can either be a saber saw, a circular saw or even a table saw. But, you must ensure that it has carbide-tipped teeth that are evenly spaced and uniform. If not then you take the risk of an accident and a poor result.
Following are various ways to cut acrylic glass sheets to make sure that the shape is precise and just what you want.
- Using a hand saw
The use of a hand saw to cut acrylic is a quite popular method. However, unlike electrical saws, they demand more focus. You need to acquire a saw that has teeth of the same shape and height.
- Scoring with a knife
This process requires you to only have a measuring scale and utility knife. First, you need to secure the sheet on your work surface with clamps or fixtures. Next, you have to make narrow grooves down the sheet in the shape and size you want. Repeating the actions with an even and quick motion will give you a clear and accurate shape.
- Working with a jigsaw
Jigsaw is a small handheld tool that you can use to cut clear acrylic glass sheets. You can use it to cut both linear and non-linear shapes. It has the ability to cut your edges into curves and even angular form.
- Using a band saw
If your desired acrylic glass coffee table needs to be cut into a detailed shape or curve, then a band saw is the right choice. But, in a band saw, you need to make sure that the blade is cohesive with the machine. It will help you achieve an intricately sharp shape with no chipping or melting.
- Cutting with a laser system
Laser systems have been specially designed to assist you in cutting acrylic glass sheets. Why? The function of these is to help you cut a defined and sophisticated shape. If you want to make a unique design, then simply connect your laser cutter with the computer. Like a printer, project the shape on to the sheet and cut the shape to size.
Steps to follow to create your acrylic glass coffee table
Now that you are familiar with the different ways to cut acrylic glass, you can begin the construction process. You may also use other materials such as wood to make your coffee table. The steps below will steer you in the right direction.
- The first thing you need to do is to gather all the materials needed. If you are using wood with acrylic, then you will need to have wood glue, wood screws, paint, and appropriate pieces of wood. Essential tools that you need to acquire are clamps, utility knife, metal file, waterproof sandpaper, your choice of the saw, and a scale.
- Next, be sure to put on protective gear. Taking safety precautions and wearing appropriate clothing will keep you from accidents. It is advised that you wear goggles to prevent small bits of acrylic from getting into your eyes. You should also wear rubber gloves to avoid cuts. Additionally, your shoes should be robust and sturdy. If you happen to drop something sharp, it will be unable to penetrate the skin of your shoe.
- Create a rough draft of the coffee table. This is the time to get creative with your designs. However, keep in mind that the shape you choose to cut is possible with the tool you have. Having an idea on paper will make it easier for you to figure out the measurements and edges.
- Clear your work surface and place the plexi glass sheet on it. Now secure it with clamps to avoid it from slipping. It is essential for you to make sure that the clamps can hold the sheet in place. If it changes its position during sawing or drilling, the sheet may chip or crack.
- Make careful and precise measurements to familiarize yourself with the shape. Slowly figuring out the angles and curves. This step will require a lot of patience on your part to ensure an accurate result.
- Once the measurements have been made, move on to the cutting. It is recommended that you first cut out the top of the table. Begin sawing with the utmost care. The speed needs to be slow at first to avoid chipping. Then with a uniform rate, saw through the entire sheet for the desired shape.
- Afterward, cut out the support pieces or legs out. The shape of these must complement the surface of the table for a classy looking piece of furniture.
- Using a metal file to get rid of any sharp edges is a good idea. It will help you smooth them out and avoid harm to anyone.
- Now take the waterproof sandpaper and soak it in water. Once wet, move the sandpaper across the edges to refine them.
- Once all the sawing and buffing has been done, it is just a matter of assembling the entire thing. Use the screws to fix the legs with the surface. If you want a coffee table with compartments, now would be an excellent time to add those too.
- If the support pieces or the top is made out of another material, or if you want to paint the acrylic glass legs, then go ahead and paint away!
- Give time to the paint to dry and give it another coat if needed. Now stand back and enjoy looking at the masterpiece you have created.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you are making your acrylic glass table. However, with careful planning and a good quality acrylic glass, you can avoid any problems. For the right kind of sheet, you need to find a seller worth their name. They must have a variety of glass types, styles, and designs for you to choose from. It is also essential that you want a seller who has a reliable after-sales service to assist you should you face any problem.
Fab Glass and Mirror is one of the leading brands in the manufacturing and selling of high-quality glass. They have quality control guidelines that ensure the product is of premium quality and is sold at an affordable price. The decision is easy; order your acrylic from Fab Glass and Mirror, have it delivered to your doorstep and create your own acrylic glass coffee table.