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Modifying a coffee table to display printed pictures

MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
edited August 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have this table http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60153071 , minus the annoying bottom part.

What I want to do is basically print up a bunch of laminated arcade mini marquees/move lists e.x.

http://www.arcadecrusade.com/gallery/v/minimarquees/evjrminis/MetalSlug-JR.tif.html

Somehow affix them to 1 backing, probably a single piece of card stock or thin cardboard, and then sandwich it between the table and either a thin sheet of lexan or plexiglass (whichever one you can easily drill, i forget which atm).

My goal is to be able to replace and reuse the artwork by just taking the top panel off, and to add another inch or so or height to the table which will make it a tad more comfortable to type on.


I want to somehow secure the lexan to the table, would the best way be to just drill a hole through the table/panel and put in screws/washers? Or is there an easier way to do it that will keep the lexan panel steady.


I have only worked with pre-cut lexan and that was simply replacing old lexan panels with new ones (ddr pad).

What do I need to know about drilling lexan? Where would I normally get a piece of that size? Do I need any special drill bit to cut it? I have a basic black and decker power drill.

Madpanda on
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Posts

  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Are you sure you want to use lexan for this? Lexan scratches pretty easily...glass is more of a pain to work with but it might be hardier. Just a thought since my personal experience is that I tend to be pretty rough on my furniture :)

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hypatia wrote: »
    Are you sure you want to use lexan for this? Lexan scratches pretty easily...glass is more of a pain to work with but it might be hardier. Just a thought since my personal experience is that I tend to be pretty rough on my furniture :)

    Not really worried about the panel being scratched/scuffed. I don't care for glass table tops at all, need to be too careful around them imo, its like having a giant semi durable landmine in the center of a room.

    It's either lexan or plexi glass I want to use, one of them cracks easily if not drilled perfectly from what I hear, the other doesn't.

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  • AiouaAioua Novus Ordo Seclorum Lord of the ForumRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I would also suggest, if you're going to be drilling into the table and screwing stuff down, to get some drywall anchors, or something, since those Lack tables aren't solid wood. That wood shreds/glue/whatever composite foam. I'd just be worried a plain wood screw would rip right out.

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    lexan is kind of a bitch to work with at least the thin kind.

    what i would do is find some sort of insert similar to a helicoil linky
    drill holes in the corners, put those in. then drill matching holes in your lexan and get a matching carraige bolt to your threaded insert. throw a spacer of appropriate size on there and screw em down. the insert will allow fairly easy removal for switching. if you just use a regular screw and ancher you will eventually blow out the hole i would think. that should give you a nice gap. you would probably want inserts on more points than the corners to prevent sagging

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  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited August 2009
    As Aioua said, I don't think you're going to be able to drill anything into a Lack coffee table - it is laminate with paper insides.

    I would instead suggest a heavier transparent top - possibly glass, even though you don't like it - with little rubber feet at the corners. The weight and the feet should keep it in place.

    I know there are several products at Ikea that actually have a matching glass top, and while I doubt this includes anything in the Lack line, you might luck out with something the same dimensions as what you want.

  • jeddy leejeddy lee Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I just realized, based on this, I would love a coffee table with a computer moniter/tv embedded into it with a sheet of glass over so you could display pictures, movies, etc...

    It wouldn't be practical in the least, but if I were rich and wanted to impress people, I might think about it.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'd suggest getting some mirrorclamps and skip the drilling into the clear top entirely. A tabletop with any kind of hole in it is just begging to get filthy and any spills that leak through the holes will ruin everything, just get some clear clamps or work out another way to secure the top without compromising the surface.

    I would actually think the easiest way to do what you want would be to get some thin foam-rubber adhesive backed stripping and run it around the very edge of the table, giving you a nice rim and space, then just set your stuff in and set the plexi on top, it shouldn't slide around with a piece that big, the weight provided friction should be enough, and if it isn't you really haven't done anything except waste 3$ in foam stripping, you'll still have a piece of uncut undrilled plexi and a table without a mark on it to try something else.

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    A sheet of tempered glass the same size as the table top, simply laid on top of your pictures is about the best way to do this. Most Ikea furniture is literally laminate boxes with pieces of corrugated cardboard zig-zagged around inside. So you can forget about anchoring anything to that table.

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Wow, didn't expect so many ideas.

    Anything glass or relying on just weight holding the top down isn't going to fly, the table is in a prime traffic location and does need to be moved a few feet daily anyway (for workout).

    I'll look into micro clamps and the foam rubber adhesive.

    I may end up ditching the top panel if it doesn't seem feasible, and instead focus on getting the artwork in 1 piece to a state that is

    a) liquid proof, and easily cleanable if spills happen. I am thinking lamination here.
    b) secured to the table.

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  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Yeah, I would suggest just laminating them (matte laminate), and then simply epoxy them onto the table.

    You could even go a step further and then place a nice clear laquer onto the table top that would seal the whole thing together. That should last just about damn near forever. Just make sure that if you laquer it you give it plenty of time to dry, and may need to wet sand/buff it to get ti perfectly smooth.

    If you go along the lines of your original thought. I'd suggest some contact glue to the table for the pictures + some ornate clamps on all 4 corners (maybe with 2 in the middle lengthwise if the top has too much play) with some adhesive between the table + top and top + clamps. That should keep everything together rock solid.

  • ElrosstElrosst Registered User
    edited August 2009
    My description is going to totally suck, but my dad did exactly what you're wanting to do with a desk and a few small pictures. he used some kind of liquid that he poured onto the desk (somehow he made a border around the edge of the desk to keep the liquid from spilling off the sides). Sorry I can't think of a better way to describe it, but I can almost guarantee he bought the liquid at Home Depot, since it is the only thing in our town.

    It dried without any bubbles, and basically looked like glass. I'll shoot him an email and see if he can name the stuff..


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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    At that point, why don't you just put everything in a cheap poster frame and forget worrying about modifying the table?

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Shellack that shit.
    Sure it won't be "removable", but you will be able to continually shallack things on top of its self and make a really cool effect.

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    jack eddy wrote: »
    I just realized, based on this, I would love a coffee table with a computer moniter/tv embedded into it with a sheet of glass over so you could display pictures, movies, etc...

    It wouldn't be practical in the least, but if I were rich and wanted to impress people, I might think about it.

    Doesn't Microsoft make a table with a built in screen that is also a touch screen? check it out

    Also as for the original OP, plexiglass isn't that bad to work with. I don't know how immovable you want the top to be, but I painted the top of a coffee table and just slapped a square of plexiglass down without any attaching (to keep the top from getting water stained or something), and it wasn't bad at all. Just grab the thickest kind that they have at home depot or whatever. Maybe put some rubber feet on it if you are super worried.

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