DIY LEGO Table Tutorial
Why create your own DIY LEGO table?
Our kids are obsessed with LEGO. This is an obsession that we have gladly fed over the years. For Mordecai’s 14th birthday, Chuck and I decided to encourage his passion by making him a DIY LEGO table. Here I will show you step-by-step how transformed a preschool table into a workable LEGO table.
Yes, we could have just purchased a LEGO table but 1) we were recycling what we had, 2) this is totally customized, 3) it was cheapter than buying a premade LEGO table.
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How to Design a LEGO Table
1. Start With Your Table
Look around. Do you have an old coffee table? An old workbench? A table you’ve outgrown? If you don’t, check out craigslist, Facebook Market Place, or second hand shops. Find something this is the right size (surface area was most important to us).
We used a thirteen year old Lakeshore table (similar to this), but you could just as easily use one you already have or pick one up at the consignment store or a garage sale. Our table has been used by over a dozen kids for the last 13 years…but it was time for an upgrade.
2. Strip the Table Surface (if neccessary)
If you’re lucky, you can skip this step. I wasn’t lucky.
This ended up being more work than I anticipated. Our table was covered with a laminate top. One corner had come off of the table years ago, so I thought it would be a simple job to just pop off the rest. I was wrong. It took Enoch heating the table with a propane torch and prying it up to remove it. This step probably took about an hour, but was totally worth it in the end.
3. Plan your DIY LEGO table ahead of time
I ordered the base plates from Amazon (listed below). Chuck, Enoch and I moved the pieces here and there to get this just as we wanted. Notice, the water, then sand, then grass…aren’t we creative?
[For our table we used: 3 15×15″ gray baseplates, two 10×10 sand-colored baseplates, 3 10×10 green baseplates and one 10×10 blue baseplate. I kind of wish we would have ordered a white baseplate too. ]
4. Cut the LEGO Baseplates to Size
I know, I know. This is a travesty to some. But to get the pieces to fit perfectly and use every available inch of surface area, we had to.
Once we had the layout the way we wanted, Chuck went to work cutting the pieces to size. He used a Bosch variable speed grinder to cut the LEGO baseplates. The variable speed was important to get a smooth, even cut. Chuck was able to slow the grinding down in order to have more control.
Next he used the side of the grinder to smooth the edges out.
Chuck used his fingers to pick off the loose plastic, for a smooth, straight edge.
For the corners, he literally just drew the curve with a permanent marker, then carefully cut with the grinder.
5. Connect the LEGO baseplates with LEGO bricks
This step is of absolute importance. Do not skip this! Initially Chuck wanted to make sure that there was no space between the baseplates, pressing them as close together as possible. I suggested we get some bricks and make sure they fit together. As it turns out a bit of space was needed.
Think about it: with LEGO, if the alignment is off by even a hair you will not be able to connect the bricks at the seam between two baseplates.
We ended up connecting each and every baseplate to make sure they were aligned properly.
6. Lightly sandpaper the surface to prep for gluing
Sanding the surface of the table only took a minute or two and Enoch did it by hand. We just wanted to make sure the surface was clear of debris.
7. Apply adhesive to the table surface
We used Welwood Original Contact Cement. Chuck poured it on and then used an 8″ putty knife to spread it on evenly. He took special care around the edges so the baseplates wouldn’t peel off.
8. Place the pre-cut baseplates
Now it gets fun! Take the baseplates that you already cut and place them one by one on the table. We left them connected with the LEGO bricks while Chuck spread the cement. Enoch removed one plate at a time and handed them to Chuck. Within minutes the pieces were placed and glued. We then reconnected them with LEGO bricks to double check the alignment.
9. Clamp your LEGO table and let it dry overnight
The contact cement is supposed to seal on contact. Leaving nothing to chance, we decided to clamp the table and leave it overnight. The next morning, the table was finished!
I couldn’t even manage to get pictures before Mordecai was moving his creations onto it.
Love the idea? Be sure and check out more of my LEGO posts (check the drop down category box in the sidebar.)
UPDATE: it has now been four years since we made this LEGO table and there has been no damage, no plates have peeled up. It is still in perfect shape and still in use.