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Materials:

12×6 stainable plank (3) 13$

6′ trim (3) 3$

2×4 (10) 2.50$

Screws 5$

Stain of choice 5$

Brushes 3$

Wood glue 3$

Total: approximately 86$

Needed beforehand:

Drill

Sander

Kreg Jig

When I decided to make my new table, I wanted to compare it to the one that I purchased 5 years ago from wall-mart to see if making it myself, really was worth it. So far, I really think it was, but I still need to make the chairs. The exact model I bought so long ago happens to still be in my local wall-mart so I know I spent 120$ on it, before tax. The goal for my table was to be similar in price, but larger and far more durable than an out of box table. I have definitely met this goal for the table itself, but I’ll have to build the chairs in a future post to match it.
So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Drilling the Pocket Holes

First is putting together the table top. I cut down the 6’x12″ to 5′ length, because I wanted our table to be 5′ long to match our room. This part is optional depending on how long of a table that you want. After that, I drilled pocket holes in the side of the planks to assist in joining. This part is also not necessary, the wood glue will be enough strength to hold it together, but it was a strengthening precaution. I want this table to last. Next, I glue the boards together, clamp them down with 3′ clamps, (I really need pipe clamps :/) then screwed them together. Here are a few pictures of this process.

Step 2: Clamping the Pieces Together

If you have wood glue to add here, I suggest that you add it. This will increase the durability of the hold.

Step 3: Drilling the Pocket Screws

Here you will use the Kreg Jig pocket screws, which will hold the boards together to allow the wood glue to dry.

Step 4: The Frame

After the top was clamped together, I left it to dry for a little while and started working on the frame. I wanted this part to be very simplistic, or minimalistic looking, so I began making it with strength in mind. I wanted to use 2×4’s because of the ease of availability and also the cost savings. For the four legs, I cut the 2×4’s at 30″ and connected two together for the added stability. Here is the over all look of the frame.

I am still very pleased with the design that I used. At first, I thought that the added 2×4’s on the inside were a bit over kill, but when we brought the table inside, and my fiance Eric decided to climb on top of it to “test it’s stability” and give me a heart attack in the process, I was very glad I added them. Looking back, I might even suggest adding another cross section 2×4 to the center, just in case you have someone in your life as crazy as him.

If anyone is interested in the exact cuts/measurements, just let me know and I’ll put together a plan for this part.

Step 5: Finishing the Top

From here I began staining the frame, and with the glue dry, I began sanding the table top. The sanding definitely took the longest, as I wanted to ensure a smooth top. I wish that I had spent the time to go back to the store to get the more coarse sand paper to save time, but, you know what they say about hind sight….

After more sanding, I added a trim around the top to give it a more solid appearance. The planks I used were about 3/4″ thick, but the trim makes it look like it’s 2″ thick. This also gives the frame a place to slide into when we put them together. After sanding and the first coat of stain, here we are with the top:

Step 6: Some Flare

For the frame, I decided that I had made it a bit too plain, so I added a few angle braces, both for looks and stability:

Step 7: All Done!

The only thing left was to get it inside. We moved the two pieces inside separately to make it easier, then when we put the top on, I found that it fit so snug I didn’t even need to screw the top on. That is optional of course, but I liked the idea of a smooth top not marred by screw holes, so we left them out. We are still using the old chairs from wall-mart, but I plan on making some simplistic 2×4 chairs to match the table some time in the future. My guess is, the over all cost should be under $150 once the chairs are done, which I think meets my goal of an inexpensive table and chairs set.

Here is the finished product!

Let me know what you think, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

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