The object of this project was to create a simple table to be used from a futon or couch for college course work. The budget was set at $10 for lumber. This makes a great inexpensive gift for college students!
Step 1: Materials
To complete this instructable you will need:
2 - 2x4's 8 feet (we will only use 12 out of 16 feet) $1.99 each = $3.98
1 - sheet of 3/8" plywood 24" x 24" (I used a good piece of CDX) $2.99
26 - 3" construction screws
Wood glue for all joints
Nails or screws suitable for attaching the 1/4 inch plywood to the 2x4's. I used 1" brad nails.
A miter saw or hand held miter box, and a saw suitable for cutting plywood are required. A hand held drill to pre-drill and install screws is also necessary.
Cost 6.97 + Tax and shop supplies
Step 2: Cut the 2x4 Material
The back legs (2) need to be 21 1/2" with a 45° angle on one end and a 90° angle on the other.(measured to the longest point on the 45°)
The front legs (2) need to be 20" with both ends at 90°
The base boards (2) need to be 12" with a 45° angle on both ends (measured from the longest points)
The table supports (2) need to be 11" with a 45° angle on both ends (measured from the longest points)
All cuts are either 45° or 90°
Step 3: Sand Your 2x4 Material
Thoroughly sand all materials cut in the previous step.
Step 4: Assemble the Legs
Assemble the legs by pre-drilling 3 holes for each joint and attach using 3" construction screws.
- Start with the 45° joint as this is the easiest area to make a mistake. This consists of joining the back leg with the table support (Top) board.
- Next attach the front leg to the table support (Top) board. There should be a 4 1/2" gap between the front and back legs.
- Next mark out the position for your front and back leg on the base(Bottom) board. On the top of the 12" base board make a line at 3/8" from the top of the 45° miter. Mark a second line at 6 3/8" from the top of the 45° miter. (see picture)
- Attach the back leg in front of the 3/8" marking.
- Attach the front leg in front of the 6 3/8" marking.
Step 5: Cut and Sand the Plywood
Start with one 2' x 2' sheet of 3/8" plywood
First cut your table top, simply make one cut at 16 inches. Your table top is now 24" x 16".
Second cut your foot rest, cut your remaining 24" x 8" piece down to 22" x 4"
Sand the faces and edges of your plywood until you are happy with the texture. Quite a bit of sanding may be required on the edges as plywood can be difficult to get smooth on the edges.
Step 6: Attach Your Table Top to the Table Supports
On the bottom side of your table top(24" x 16" plywood), mark the position of the table supports.
-Mark a line 1/2" from the back edge of the plywood.
-Mark a line 1" from each end of the plywood.
*These markings will give us a 1" overhang on the sides of the table and a 1/2" overhang on the back.
-Apply wood glue to the top of the table supports where they will contact the table top.
-Align your table top on the table supports using the lines you created above as a guide.
-Attach using brad nails, air nails or screws.
Step 7: Attach the Footrest
Now that your table top is secured we can measure and install the foot rest.
-Measure the distance between the back legs from outside to outside where they are attached to the table top. This measurement should be close to 22" if you were accurate when attaching the table top.
- If your measurement is less than 22" you will need to shorten the length of your footrest to match.
- Apply glue to both ends of the foot rest where it will contact the back leg.
- Attach one end of the footrest by pushing it tight to the back of the back leg and down tight against the base board.
- Measure across to the other leg before attaching the second end of the footrest. Be sure that the measurement at the bottom of the legs matches the measurement at the tops of the legs. This will ensure your legs are parallel.
Step 8: Finish Your New Table
You could choose to stain this project or paint it. The pictures above are of this table painted black with a couple layers of gloss clear coat for durability. Durability is important if this is going to be used in a college setting! I hope you enjoy!