IMPOSSIBLE DIY Floating Table Build

John Malecki

IMPOSSIBLE DIY Floating Table Build

John Malecki Builds a Gravity-Defying DIY Floating Table

min read
May 28, 2020

If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to function under the belief that anything is possible. Maybe this a bit of an ambitious outlook (ie. my recent attempt at epoxy wood chisels), but I think tackling projects that involve a high degree of creativity and problem-solving keeps me on my toes.

Amidst this ambitious mindset, I encountered the idea of a DIY floating table: a table made sturdy by tensegrity. Knowing that this would be quite the challenge to build, I rushed to Sam and we created a game plan to try this thing out.

In the end, we completed one AWESOME DIY floating table that I cannot wait for you guys to check out. Take a look at the video and step-by-step breakdown below and try it out for yourself!

John Malecki with a shape

Project Overview

How to Make a DIY Floating Table

table shape
  1. Create a mockup
  2. Prepare Your Wood
  3. Cut Lap Joints
  4. Cut the Neck
  5. Create String Holes
  6. Add Chamfers and Glass Inset
  7. Final Build-up and Finish

What You’ll Need for a DIY Floating Table

John Malecki with a saw



How to Make a DIY Floating Table: The Step-by-Step

Create a Mockup

a guy with table shape

Before getting started, I highly recommend making a mockup of your DIY floating table. You can do this with some fishing line and scrap wood. If it doesn’t work as a mockup, it’s probably not going to work as a full-size table, so it’s best to work out the kinks and avoid wasting the materials. Assemble the mockup with CA glue and pocket screws.

Prepare Your Wood

John Malecki with metal machine

Once you have a functional mockup, it’s time to dive into the real thing. I chose walnut I had leftover from a past project and started by cutting it down to size and running it through the planer. 

Cut Lap Joints

John Malecki making the wood shape

I decided to use lap joints for this design to add to the seamless, mysterious feel of the design. Start by cutting half the depth of your wood pieces on the table saw for the joints, cleaning up your cuts with hand tools. Once done, assemble your base and top, glue-up, and clamp to dry.

Cut the Neck

John Malecki cutting the wood with saw

I chose to cut the neck for my table to an interesting, angular shape. I made a 3-inch dovetail cut to connect it to the table itself, then cut out that channel on my router table. After this point, I decided to give the entire structure a check to see if it was heading in the right direction.

Create String Holes

John Malecki digging wood

One tested out, it’s time to create your string holes. This got to be a bit technical because I wanted to make these holes virtually invisible to add to the floating effect. After adding on the table feet, I added the string to a countersunk bolt with a hole. I also drilled a hole for a dowel to cover this up for a seamless look. I didn’t tighten everything into place quite yet so I could add the right amount of tension during built-up.

Add Chamfers and Glass Inset

John Malecki making a line in wood

In order to add to my artistic vision, I added chamfer edges to the top and carved out space for my glass on the top with my router. Sam then cut my glass so we could drop it into place

Final Build-up and Finish

John Malecki putting a cable in the hole

I added a spray-on finish and allowed it to dry. From there, it was time for the moment of truth! I started with the table upside down, adding in the dowels to secure and hide the strings. I flattened the dowels, flipped her upside down, and BOOM—one hell of a floating table was born.

Thanks for checking out this build! If you liked it, be sure to check out some more of my recent projects!

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

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min read
May 28, 2020
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John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!