Small TV table from scrap wood
My daughter recenty married and needed a place to set her TV in the bedroom. They were going to buy a pressed wood product at the SuperCenter. But, I measured what I had in the shed and asked if I could build it for them.
Step 1: Free Lumber!
I found a cabinet shop in town that tosses out al kinds of red oak solid stock and birch plywood. I went and cleaned out their dumpster, with permission of course. Once I got it all home, I sorted through it all and got it organized.
Step 2: Using What You Have
The table surfaces are 1/4" birch plywood. I had a 2x4 that was about 5 feet long. I ripped it, and mitered it to frame the surfaces. I am still learning how to build. So, I made a couple mistakes on the miters and had to use some glue and saw dust to make a filler.
The size of the table was based on what I had in stock more than anything.
Step 3: Leg Pieces
I had a 1x6 in the shed that I cut down to the right height. Then I started laying it out to get angles and heights that I liked. I laid two pieces down on the ground and clamped the surface tops in different places. Once I got the angles I liked, I debated on assembly options. I wanted to keep fasteners to a mimimum. So, I decided on cutting dadoes in the legs for support. I used a bevel guage to figure out the angles.
Step 4: Dadoes in the Legs
I started cutting the dadoes for the top first, assuming that they would be the easiest. Again, with lack of experience and ignorance, they didn't fit perfect. But, I was ok with them. This was a scrap wood project for my daughter's bedroom. I excused the ugliness that way.
Step 5: Never Enough Clamps
I have about 10 Harbor Freight "Quick-Clamps". They are all 12" clamps. My tops are 14" wide. So, I had to rig two clamps together to spread across the surface and hold the legs. Glued and clamped overnight.
The next morning, I pulled the clamps and was pretty pleased with the looks so far. Then, I got ready to sand and realized how unstable this proved to be. So, I predrilled and countersunk 1" wood screws in each leg. This stabilized things quite a bit. Enough to hold a small TV for sure.
Step 6: Sanding and Staining
I started with a Random Orbit sander with 80 grit. Then went to a Sheet sander with 120. And finished sanding with a detail sander at 220. I wiped it all down and got ready to stain. My daughter was looking for a black table. So I used Minwax Ebony stain. I applied two coats following instructions on the can. After the last coat dried, I found a couple of places that didn't stain correctly. After researching, I am thinking I should have used a pre-stain and/or sealed the grain somehow prior to staining.
After 24 hours, I applied a Minwax Urethane with a foam brush. I applied an extremely light coat. Such a light coat that it dried in about two hours. I used a 1500 wet/dry sandpaper made for auto body and knocked down the small rough spots. Then I repeated the process to a total of four coats of urethane.
Step 7: Car Wax?? Yes, Yes I Did!
I really wanted a thick protective clear finish. Something like an acrylic without the time investment and expense! So...I bought some Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell wax. I got the liquid form. I applied it and buffed it off Bout ten minutes later. This was the finish I was looking for!!! The rag would slide right off the table, it was so smooth! So, of course, I applied a second coat! I am happy with the end product.
Step 8: Special Touch
This is something brand new to me. I wanted something that made it a memorable piece. So, I got three pennies. A 1975 penny for the year I was born. A 1994 penny for the year my daughter was born. And then a 2014 penny, for the year the table was built. I glued them on with a CA glue and signed the table with a pwrmanent marker. Then, I sprayed over it with a spray urethane.
Thanks for reading!