The basic idea of a box clad with slats and mounted on store-bought legs can be used to make a low coffee table, a long console or entertainment unit, and a small side table.
Step 1: Cut the Materials
Step 2: Attach the Sides
Step 3: Install the Base
Step 4: Add the Base Slats and Legs
Step 5: Attach the Top Slats
Step 6: Finish
Coffee Table Diagram
End Table Diagram
Console Table Diagram
The framework for any of these tables is built using 5/8-in. medium density fiberboard (MDF) with simple butt joints. Slats wrapping around the top and sides provide a unique look. The two extra slats beneath add support and create a solid base for securing the legs.
Use a table saw to cut all the pieces to the proper dimension. You'll find it easiest to use a miter saw for cutting the 45° angles at the corners of the side and top slats. For simplicity, you can leave the slats square-cut, but add at least 1 1/4-in. to the length of the top slats so they overlap the sides.
Precut your pieces to size. Drill a series of 1/8-in. holes along the two short edges of the top; mark a reference line as shown for accuracy. Apply wood glue to the top
edges of the side pieces, position them flush with the edges of the top, then drive 1 5/8-in. particleboard screws through the predrilled holes.
Predrill holes through the short edges of the base (like you did for the top), apply glue to the edges of the side pieces, then secure the base in place using particleboard screws.
Attach the slats even with the front and back edges of the base, using wood glue and 1-in. long particleboard screws. Again, predrill holes with a countersink bit for the cleanest look. Secure the legs using 1-in. particleboard screws.
Turn the table right-side-up, apply wood glue to the first and last slats, position them even with the front and back edges, then secure them with 1-in. brads or finish nails. Set the inner slats in place, spacing them evenly (about the width of two quarters). One-by one, remove the slats, apply glue to the bottom and tack them back in place with 1-in. brads. Finally add the side
pieces, making sure the mitered corners meet tightly.
Use a finish or orbital sander to lightly sand the entire unit. Slightly soften the edges and remove any excess glue. Apply a primer followed by two coats of enamel paint.
(all measurements in inches)
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.