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Build a dining room console table (side or serving table)

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Picture of Build a dining room console table (side or serving table)
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So, I guess I did too good of a job building my farmhouse table, because my wife decided that we needed a matching console table for the dining room. (You can see the instructable for the matching farmhouse table here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Farmhouse-or-Parsons-Style-Table/ ) I guess this is what happens when you marry an interior designer.

This job was actually easier than the farmhouse table, and quicker as well. You can build this with a circular saw, drill, and pocket hole (Kreg) jig. This being said, if you have a table saw and miter saw, this will be even easier.
 
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Step 1: Gather materials

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I built my table top and shelves out of aspen. The legs were made from poplar. You could certainly use other types of wood, but these are cheap and look nice. Here is the purchase list I used. Everything came from Lowes, and just about every lumber yard will have similar supplies.

4- 3"x3"x36" poplar boards (for the legs)
1- 3/4"x15"x48" aspen furniture panel (table top)
2- 3/4"x12"x48" aspen furniture panels (shelves)
2- 1"x2"x96" aspen boards (apron)
8- small shelf brackets
screws
stain/paint/finish of your choice

By no means is this what you have to buy. If you prefer oak, maple, or another type of wood, buy that instead. You could also make your own 3"x3" boards for the legs by gluing boards together. If you don't have furniture panels in the type of wood you want, make your own table top and shelves. See my farmhouse table instructable for how to do this.

Step 2: Attach legs

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Cut each leg to 33" long. Use your Kreg jig to drill pocket holes on the inside of the the legs.

Now take your 15"x48" panel and measure in 1" on each of the corners and make a line parallel with the ends of the board. This will give you a 1" inset of the table legs, and it will make sure you line up the legs square with the table top.

Now, put a dab of glue on the top of the leg, line it up with the marks you made on the top, and screw legs into place.

Step 3: Install Apron

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Once the legs are on, it's time to put on the apron. You'll see, I put mine on the outside of the leg and just butted my corners together. My wife wanted this style to make it look more "homemade". You could certainly inset the apron inside the legs or miter the corners for a cleaner and more professional appearance.

I cut my 2 shorter aprons 12 1/2" long and my long aprons 46 7/8". That being said, MEASURE YOUR TABLE TO SEE WHAT YOUR EXACT MEASUREMENTS ARE!!! If you are even 1/8" off here, it will show and will stick out like a sore thumb. The old saying "measure twice, cut once" definately applies here.

Put some glue on the top of the board to help hold in place and used very small trim nails to nail it to the leg. Nail your short aprons first. If you choose to use trim nails on the outside (like I did) use the smallest head possible. I used a pin nailer nail gun with almost no head at all. Also, you'll want to make sure the nail is sunk into the wood and use a small amount of wood filler to cover the nailhead.

Step 4: Add shelves

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I put 2 shelves on. You can use more or less if you want. However, I recommend having, at a minimum, one shelf at the bottom. It helps hold everything together and stabilize everything.

Buy small L brackets or shelf brackets. They usually come with screws with them. Measure up 23 1/2" from the bottom of each leg and put one bracket on each leg. This is for the upper shelf.

Now measure up 4" from the bottom of the leg and put in another bracket for the lower shelf.

Don't put on one shelf, then measure up from that shelf to the other shelf. If you get the first measurement off, you'll have both shelves crooked. Then you'll have 2 shelves to fix instead of one. Whenever you have 2 or more shelves running parallel with each other, measure their height from the same point.

I cut my shelf panels to 11 1/2"x40 5/8". Again, measure your table to ensure this is the size you need. Use the supplied screws to hold on the shelves.

Step 5: Sand and finish

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Spend a lot of time sanding. The more time you sand, the happier you'll be with the finished product. I used a random orbital sander, but you can do this by hand if you don't have one. Start with 80-120 grit and finish with 220-240.

I put on a pre-stain conditioner, then used Minwax hickory gel stain. Follow the directions on the stain that you choose, different colors will have different processes. I decided not to use a finish on top, I just used a furniture grade wax.I like the glowing appearance that it gives off.

Use your imagination here. Some people sand off corners or gouge the top to try to simulate a worn, weather appearance. You can stain, paint, or leave natural. It's your table, do what you want.
jtuscany4.2 months ago

Hello! What size screws did you use?

Very cool.

Don't do such a good job next time and you won't get roped into another project. ;)
nyx7022 years ago
Very nice! Came out really well. I also love your other table.

Typically Poplar tends to not take stain well which will result in blotchy-ness. It's good that you used the pre-stain. To anyone else that may use oak or a more porous wood the pre-stain is not necessary IMO.
I absolutely love the finish on these! Great work. :D