Lesson Learned: One day I will keep my eyes open when using the Miter Saw.
This project began in a similar fashion to my coffee table post a few weeks ago. After searching thrift stores, Home Goods, Overstock etc. for a coffee table for my newly renovated basement I gave up! I couldn’t find what I wanted within my budget. What I did find was the exact style I wanted, albeit in a slightly different color scheme, AND with a hefty $500 price tag. Here it is, my Pottery Barn inspiration….
Again I sent it to Jason and asked him (very nicely!!) to make me 2 of these. I figured out the dimensions we would need to fill our space in relation to the couch arm height, etc. That Friday we romantically continued our Ice Cream, Home Depot and DIY supply date night. This week they had run out of Banana ice cream though, Jason was not pleased. I will say it gave the server a chance to hear him say Blueberry instead… needless to say they were equally amazed!
Now, I know I mentioned the $500 price tag for ONE single side table from Pottery Barn.. but can you guess how much the wood cost to make two of my version of the table? $40… yes $40 to make two, yes two side tables!! I think this is my favorite savings thus far.
Supplies & Cut List
As with all plans you can amend the dimensions to match what your space needs. Here is what we did:
Drill & Drill Bits
Sander / Sand Paper
Step 1 – Cut and make the leg frames
Like usual when I say we, I mean Jason, it just makes me feel a part of the build. We started by cutting the 4 table legs from those 8ft long pieces of 2×3’s. We used our Miter Saw to make sure that we had square cuts – pretty important so you don’t build yourself a wobbly table.
To make sure each leg was the exact same length we measured the first leg and uses this as a guide for the remaining legs as you can see above. It’s simple, accurate and saves time from not having to go through the measure twice, cut once routine.
I am really trying to overcome my fear of the Miter Saw. Jason guided me through some of the cutting, but I violated the number one safety protocol when using a saw: Keep your eyes open! I have to admit I closed them as I made the cut!! I was too scared. Soo needless to say, I will leave future cuts to Jason until I can conquer my fear.
Step 2 – Cut down 2 x 3’s to make them 2 x 1.5’s
I wanted the horizontal support pieces to be smaller than the legs so I asked Jason to cut a piece of the 2 x 3 in half. We used our table saw to make sure it was cut in half and had a nice straight edge. From here Jason used the Miter Saw to cut them to the correct length – 9.5″.
Below you can see them once they were cut but prior to some sanding.
Jason then pre-drilled some homemade pocket holes on each end for attaching to the legs – he still refuses to spend money on a Kreg Jig.
Please ignore the table top here, I was just pairing pieces up to be ready for gluing while Jason made the pocket holes. I will get to that part in a moment…
Step 3 – Assemble the base
We started by attaching the top piece to one of the legs using 1.5″ screws and wood glue to secure them. Use your spirit level to make sure they are attached straight!!
and then we attached the bottom piece using the same method.
Finally we added on the other leg to create one half of the table base. Use your speed square to make sure everything is square before securing the second leg. You can see the pocket holes here:
Repeat this process to create the second half of the base…Like so…
Step 4 – Start making the table top
Now on to the fun stuff!! I told you I would come back to the top and reference this picture! We measured the 1 x 5 pieces of pine board and cut 6 pieces to the correct size. 6 pieces?? Why 6 you ask? The Pottery Barn table I fell in love with had a nice chunky wood top, but I couldn’t find any chunky wood like this at Home Depot! I decided to double up the 1″ thick pine by gluing two pieces together to achieve the gorgeous thickness and dimensions of the model table.Genius?!
Once we (Yes I’m still using we to reference Jason) had the pieces cut, we applied plenty of wood glue (We used Gorilla Wood Glue) and clamp a second piece to it.
We waited roughly 3 hours before removing the clamps and clamping the next piece (we eventually had 6 total chunky boards). Apparently the glue dries enough in 2 hours to hold it but shockingly we had patience to wait an extra hour! Due to work commitments etc… the boards had 3 days to cure before we were ready to work on them!
During the clamping the wood slightly slid out of place leaving a bit of overhang. To make sure the edges were perfectly straight we ran them through the table saw. This ensured the edges would give a clean join when we glued them together to create the full table top!
Step 5 – Glue the table top together
Once we had all the pieces glued and edges cut straight I arranged the boards in an order I liked the look of. I tried to make sure I had plenty of knotted bits, I think it makes the wood look very rustic! With some more glue and clamps we joined the 3 pieces together to make one chunky table top.
I know this sounds like a lot of work but it’s not! It is just a waiting game for the glue to dry. To be honest, it probably only took 15 minutes of our time to do all of the gluing and clamping.
Once the 2 table tops had dried over night I sanded them down to be smooth.
Step 6 – Paint and Stain
I applied the stain using a foam brush, let it soak in for 10 minutes and then wiped it off with a rag.
Oh I almost forgot, I used Pre-Stain prior like I always do to help the stain take.
For the legs I painted them with a foam roller. It took about 3 coats in total.
Step 7 – Assemble and Protect.
To attach the top we pre-drilled some pocket holes in the back of the table legs and the 2 top supports and used 2″ wood screws – 4 on either side. To prevent the legs from moving back and forth we added a small block of wood in the middle behind the top supports. Big enough to offer enough support but small enough to remain hidden. (I can add a picture upon request!)
Finally, as I always recommend, to protect the tables from scratches etc… I applied a coat of Polycryclic to the legs and polyurethane to the to.. then let it dry over night.
Step 8 – Stand back, admire and celebrate!
They’re adorable!! Here’s a good side angle to show you how well the two layers of pine board adhered. You can barely see a seam.
The stain set a bit differently in each of the top three boards, but I think it gives it a more rustic feel.. Do you agree??
Again, you can barely see the seam :)!!
Much Love xoxo