Today I will show you how to build a modern end table with a leftover 2x4 and some scrap wood. I got the idea from a picture I saw one time and decided i would make it for the 2x4 contest.
Step 1: Cut the Peices
You'll need to cut out seven pieces. 6 are 14 inches long and 1 is 24 inches long.The one that is 24'' long will serve as the leg. I assume that you can look at the pictures and figure out how to cut the 45 degree angles.
Step 2: Sand
This step is simple. All you do is sand... and sand... and sand. 2x4s are not the nicest wood so it can be difficult to make nice things out of them. A planer would make this much easier, but I don't have one.
Step 3: Assemble (Without Glue)
Drill 1/8 inch holes into each corner from the side. Countersink them with a 3/8" bit so you can add plugs later. Make the top and bottom pieces separately and attach the leg to the bottom. The screws I used are deck screws because they are good and sturdy.
Step 4: Glue
Take the screws out and glue the top and bottom together (separately) with the leg on the bottom piece. Once the glue is dry, you can attach the top to the bottom. Clamp the top in place and use shims to make it level. Drill two hole in the top like in step three. Take the clamps and screws off and finish gluing. Make sure to put all the screws back in the holes.
Put plugs in all the holes and apply wood patch to all the scratches, rough spots, etc. Once the Wood patch is dry, sand it all smooth.
Step 6: Make the Tabletop
Glue up a piece of 3/4" walnut that is a little bigger than the inside of the top. Trace the exact shape onto the walnut and cut it out to the rough shape. Sand the edges to the exact shape. It should fit somewhat snug so there are no gaps. Once it is the correct shape, glue it in place. Make sure the walnut is even with the 2x4.
Step 7: More Sanding
Put wood patch in the gaps on all three sides of the walnut panel and sand it once it's dry. Sand the rest of the table until it is nice and smooth.
Step 8: Finishing
Apply polyurethane finish to the whole table. It doesn't really matter what you use, but natural oils might not be the best for durability. Follow the directions for whatever you decide to use.
Step 9: Done!
Great! Now you have a nice, modern end table. Its not just any end table, though. It can slide over your couch as a snack or computer table. If you make one, post a pic. I would love to see it. Happy making!
Step 10: Update
I decided I wasn't very fond of the 2x4 and painted it white. It looks much nicer than the plain 2x4. Also, it will hold as much as any other end table. I got lot of comments about whether it could hold weight or not. I tested it with a lamp , a Bible and my tablet, as said in one comment, passed with flying colors. There was no sag or tilt at all.