Introduction: Hexagon Side Table With Drawer
I had an idea of making a hexagon side table, which would double up as a drawer to use in my front room. As far as ideas go this one wasn't very much thought through before starting, so the design of the legs and drawer front changed throughout the project. All the thoughts I did initially have for the legs and drawer elements weren't in the final design and I'm sure I wouldn't have come up with some of the final design if I had everything planned out from the start. So I do think sometimes it's good to just build on a whim and see where it takes you!!
Maple - for the main box
Brown oak - for the legs and drawer front
Plywood - for parts of the drawer
Oak - for the drawer
Step 1: The Design
As I have said I hadn't planned this table very much but I have drawn it in CAD as I used this for working out some dimensions. I also attempted to draw it in Fusion 360 as well but my 3D modelling skills aren't as good as they could be but I've attached a few files in case you are interested to look at them.
Step 2: Main Hexagon Box
I started by planing and thickessing the maple board to around 22m thick (7/8") and cut the board in to 6 lengths of 450mm.
The internal angles of a hexagon are 120 degrees so set my table saw blade to 60 degrees (120/2) with a digital angle gauge and cut the long edges of each board. As a hexagon is inherently unstable I decided to use three biscuits on each joint to add a bit more stability. I marked the position of each biscuit and cut the slot with a biscuit jointer.
At this point, after dry fitting the box and sanding the internal faces, I started gluing up, but once I had it all clamped together I noticed that I hadn't cut the slot at the back for the rear floating panel. Some of the joints weren't as tight as I wanted and the box seemed a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be, so took it back apart.
I then recut my edges, re-biscuited and then cut a slot on the rear of each panel. I then drew round the internal hexagon when it was dry fitted, on to a piece of hardboard, and cut it 5mm wider so it would fit in to the rear slots.
I then glued up each joint using gorilla PU glue as this would expand in to any gaps that might be present. I then clamped it up using cargo straps and a band clamp.
After a few hours drying I unclamped it and was pleasantly surprised at how strong the box felt.
Step 3: Legs
I then went on to thinking about the type of legs I was going to make. I had had a few ideas about what I wanted to do but having got the box in front of me I had a different idea so sketched it on a piece of ply and decided to go with that design.
I started by cutting a few pieces of 20mm x 30mm oak and made the cut to the top of the legs by marking the angle from the sketch on to the leg. By turning my mitre saw I determined the angle as close enough to 50 deg to make it exactly 50 degrees and cut the top of each four legs. I then set the mitre saw to 10 degrees and cut the other end of the legs so they would sit flat on the floor.
The horizontal pieces were cut to an angle of 60 degrees and then I made a lap joint on the mitre saw to attach the horizontal to the vertical(ish) leg pieces.
Once they were dry I made a cross piece which I fixed to the legs with pocket holes (to the top so they wouldn't be seen in the final box)
Step 4: Drawer
I had a board of 15mm thick oak from a previous project which seemed like a good size for a drawer. I started by determining the width of the boards by drawing the as built box with drawer runners and drawer on CAD and measured the required width of the drawer pieces.
I cut three boards to size with the 60 degree angles to the edges and then came up with a plan to fix it all together, as I wouldn't be able to use clamps as the main box. Before fixing I sanded the internal faces of the drawer up to 180 grit as this would be fairly difficult to sand later.
I started by making the ends of the drawers out of plywood (to fit internally). I screwed a board to my cross cut sled to 60 degrees so I could easily make the cuts and made a couple of half hexagons. I started making them slightly oversized and kept testing the fit and adjusting until they were just the right size. I also made the top slightly lower then the rest of the drawer so I could add a strip of oak above the plywood edge.
I then added tape to the outside edges in lieu of the clamps, glued up the edges and secured the drawer sides to the rear plywood with screws and just glue to the front sides. This would ensure that the screws wouldn't be seen in the final piece.
Step 5: Drawer Front
I started by drawing a hexagon on a piece of brown oak by using the compass method. This work well and is very easy as the radius of a circle is the same distance between corners of the hexagon. Start off by drawing a circle, keeping the same radius move the compass point anywhere on the circle and draw another circle. Where the two circles intersect these are the edges of the hexagon. The remaining edges are determined by finding the other intersection points around the first circle. I then cut out the hexagon on the crosscut sled.
To add a little more interest to the front I made a pattern with a V router bit and cut a bevel to the outside of the hexagon.
Step 6: Add Drawer Front and Fit Drawer and Legs
Next I fixed the drawer runners to the internal edges of the box using an offcut, with a 60 degree cut to one edge, as a spacer clamping at the front to stop any movement during screwing.
Fitting the drawer was simpler than expected as it just dropped down on to the runners in the right place so I just needed to screw them in to place. I then got the drawer hexagon in to place using wooden spacers (taped in place) around the edges and used double sided tape on the drawer front to temporarily hold it in to place before screwing it in to its final place.
I then got the legs and screwed them to the underside of the drawer.
Step 7: Opening System
My total non planning of this side table now came to a head as I couldn't think of a good solution for a handle. After a night of thinking and looking on the internet I did have a couple of ideas. The one I was going to go with was a triangular handle to the top of the drawer front, so went to make it.
Having got to the table I cut a rough triangular piece and knew it wasn't right and I couldn't think of anything else that would work on the front that I'd be happy with.
I then I came up with my final solution - a cut out on the rear of the table with a triangular piece fixed to the rear of the drawer which, when pushed, would move the drawer out enough to be able to pull it out the rest of the way.
The drawer runners are ones that lock in to the closed position so the drawer can only be opened by using this method so it's almost like a puzzle drawer!
I started by cutting a triangle in to the rear panel for the button. To add a bit more interest to the rest of the back I cut some thin triangles to make up a hexagon shape with gaps between them, mirroring the pattern to the front. I also sprayed the back black before gluing the triangles with a glue gun to add a bit of contrast. Finally I cut three lengths from a triangle to go around the push button to finish the look.
Step 8: Oiling and Finishing
I finished off by sanding all the parts not already sanded up to 180 grit, fit everything together and applied three coats of Danish oil to all surfaces.
I am very pleased with the final table and think it looks like a little wooden pet which will go perfectly to the side of my sofa for drinks etc.
The main thing I would do differently if I were to make one again would be to make the rear panel out of hardwood fixed in to the rear of the table. I would keep the opening mechanism the same, so it would involve cutting a triangle shape in to the rear panel but I'm sure I could used a router and a template.
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