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boxer1-2 05-15-2005 08:21 AM

Building simple table
Well, this is more or less my first serious building project that I would like to turn out decent. I wanna build a basic table, I would like to use 4 in. wide wood just because thats the smallest size I have seen that is made of good finishing wood. The table wont have any drawers or at least I don't plan on it. Basically the design I am planning out is like this: (simple enough to explain, I know its sad) in between each leg at the top you have a brace, how they are on the tables when they are set in a inch or two, then just the top; which is going to probably be more of the 1"x4" boards laid together. All I really need to know is how should I go about joining the wood, I dont have any fancy tools to measure and cut the wood like a jigsaw puzzle...I have a jigsaw though...hah. But I dont think it would work without some finer measuring, and cutting tools. Anyway what do you guys recommend I use to join the wood, I was thinking really small finishing nails or somehow making a combination of that and some good wood glue. Or do you have a better suggestion on my design. Its for my girlfriend and she knows I'm no cabinetmaker or great craftsman yet, but I'm going into the field so I thought this would be good experience.

Thanks and sorry for the long post, I'm a talker


Mike Swearingen 05-15-2005 04:19 PM

There are as many ways to build a simple table as there are tables.
Years ago, I built a few coffee tables just using 1X4 pine for the table top and sides and 2X4 pine for the legs and braces.
I didn't use any glue, just finishing nails, and kept it simple.
The actual dimensions of 1X4 are 3.5" wide +/-, of course. I cut two 2X4s the width of the table top and nailed the top boards to them about a third of the way in from each end. Then I nailed 1X4s around the sides and ends. Next I installed tapered 2X4s for the legs.
I sank the nails, sanded, stained and polyed all, and then added little brass corners and end pulls just for looks. I used dark brown oak stain, but mahogany stain to give it a cherry look, looks good, too. (I've done that on some pine woodwork around our double French doors, and it looks great.)
We still have one of the coffee tables in our great room, it has to be almost 30 years old, and still looks good. All that it needs is a little furniture polish once in a while. Easy.
You really need a circular saw with a fine tooth blade and a hammer and nail set and you're in business. It will take you forever with a jig saw.
Good Luck!

boxer1-2 05-16-2005 08:52 PM

Thanks for the help
Thanks so much for the help, I deleted the quote, I think your name was Mike, sorry if I'm mistaken...but yeah I have a circular saw, dont know how good of shape its in but I ran it and it didnt fly off and cut my leg open so it should be ok, Ill just need to buy a finer blade. I will probably use your post again to help me with the layout. The legs are what I'm really worried about looking dull, did you buy the legs tapered or did you taper them yourself?

Thanks again,

Mike Swearingen 05-16-2005 09:34 PM

I tapered the legs with a circular saw from the middle of the bottom of the 2X4s to the inside where the 2X4s were exposed just under the sides, leaving the top three inches or so under the corners of the sides/ends the full 2X4 width, and then nailed them to the corners.
I sanded everything smooth with all edges rounded. You could use a router to round the edges, but I just used a sander.
Very simple and easy to make. Looks sort of like "This End Up" style furniture, if you've every seen that.
Good Luck!

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