Introduction: Tri Triangle Table

This is my first instructable, so ........ cheer me on

For this instructable, I am also going to try to walk through my design process along with instructions on the build ~ this may help other makes to modify the design and dimensions

My goal was to make a unique corner table for home-office use

after spending exhausting amount of time on deciding what shape to make the table in, i decided on making a triangle table - as it naturally fits into a corner and not look bulky

than i had decide on the structure - using legs or making it floating table that is fixed to the walls - i decided to go with legs - so that it can be moved around as needed. and then i had to decide whether to make it with 3 legs or 4 legs. while keeping stability and aesthetics in mind. again after spending exhausting amount if time - i ended up deciding on to make the table with 2 triangle shaped legs. ~ this was the breakthrough that made a simple blah corner table into the tri-triangle table.

I am going to break the built in tri parts

  • 1st - The triangle table surface
  • 2nd - The triangle legs
  • 3rd - Attaching the triangle table surface to the traingle legs

Materials used

  • Lumber - plywood or boards, 2x2 pine strips
  • Saw: Miter, Circular, Jig or hand saw
  • Glue, screws, drill

Step 1: The Triangle Table Surface

Determining the size and and what material to use

  • determining the size and shape
    • Shape
      • Since the corner of a room is 90 degree , i decided on an isosceles right angled triangle
      • also the two 45 deg angles are easy to cut , which are pre-set on miter saw
    • Size
      • next on how big to make the table it all depends on your room size and needs.
      • I build the largest i could fit in the corner of our room.
      • for me it was basically from the corner to the edge of the window minus few inches. which was about 42" this length became the shorter side of the isosceles triangle
      • then all i had to do was use the Pythagorean theorem, to calculate my hypotenuse.
      • which came out to be about 60"
      • now I have the dimensions of the table to build ~ isosceles right angled triangle with 42.5" side and 60" hypotenuse
  • deciding on the lumber
    • I choose cedar - i had some 1"x1" cedar boards from lumber yard. you can use pine, oak or ply - anything that you can get your hands on will work.
    • I choose cedar - because of its aroma, color, no need to finish it and i really wanted to do a project with cedar.
      • if you look closely, i am using lumber with knots - hollowed out - I wanted my table to look natural and unique
  • cutting the lumber
    • before starting your saw double check all the math
    • if you use ply - just cut it to size and done no assembly reqd
    • if you are using boards like me, you have two options
      • 1st - glue and assemble the boards and then cut the triangle with a circular or a jig saw, since my circular saw skills are not that great - i avoided this
      • 2nd - cut the boards into several trapezoids (each edge cut at an opposite 45 degree miter) and assemble the trapezoids to make a triangle
        • for this i had to do some more geometric calculations i split the triangle table surface into several trapezoids (based on the width of my lumber) - and then i used my miter saw to cut the lumber. since the boards are smaller - it can also be cut easily and circular, jig or hand saw can be used.
        • this is my entire table divided into the trapezoids i need to cut. the width of each trapezoid is the width of my board then i further used some geometry and came up with my cutting measurements - see the attached diagram
        • Note: the table pic - I did not complete the triangle in the corner - - i left that off - for the cords to hang down.
    • once i had my pieces cut, i joined them with glue and screws via pocket holes (on the under side of the table), the board was big and i did not have enough clamps and the triangle shape made clamping difficult - so i just added screws to make it sure it is held in place till the glue dried
    • if you don,t want to do the boring math, you can use a ply and cut the triangle with a circular saw based on dimensions or glue multiple boards into a big board and the cut with a circular saw
    • well the the table surface is complete
    • to add strength and provide bracing for the legs, i added a skirt made of 2x2 pine strips to the under side of the table. also i placed the skirt about 1 inch inside from the edge - so it is less visible from the outside. i just used few screws to attach the skirt to the under side of the table

Step 2: The Triangle Legs

Things to decide, the size and shape of triangle legs and the lumber to use

  • Lumber to use
    • I decided to go with 2x2 pine as they are cheap and will provide good strength for the legs
      • just to match the cedar table surface, i am using pine strips with knots (here i have not hollowed them)
    • other lumber - like oak or maple can be used
  • Size and Shape
    • You guessed it right - isosceles triangle - since two angles will be the same - cutting set up will be easy.
      • however this can be changed - according to your needs
      • instead of triangle - you can decide on another polygon you prefer
    • Height - build it based on the size of the table and height of the room
      • this is the most important design element - as the legs are rising over the table surface
      • you want it to be just right for you
        • too long or to short - it distorts the triangle - such that it might not look appealing or over shadow the table or the legs will extend beyond the table skirt (not functional)
    • our room height is 96", the table length (hypotenuse) was 60" so i decided the legs to be 48"
    • I wanted the legs to pop out above the table surface - like pyramids.
      • Tables usually have legs that remain under the table - so blah. well not mine.
      • so height is fixed, now i needed to find the length of the base of the triangle legs
      • i decided to make it 42.5" (side of my table) minus 10" = 32.5",
        • making sure the design is functional
        • this make sure they are wide - provide support - so the table does not tip over.
        • and subtracting the 10" makes sure - they do not extend out beyond the table skirt - that will not look cool - and it prevents bumping into it.
      • so now I had height 48" and base 32.5", but i had to calculate the arms of the triangle legs
      • the arms of the triangle leg will be the hypotenuse of a right triangle with height of 48" and base of 16.25" - see the diagram
      • thus the dimensions of the triangle legs to be cut were 50.6", 50.6" and 32.5"
  • Cutting the triangle legs
    • now all i had to do was to calculate the angles for mitered joint
    • and math to the rescue one more time
      • sin (a) = 48/50.6 hence angle a = 71.5 deg and a/2 = 35.75 deg
      • also angle b/2 = 180 - 90 - 71.5 = 18.5 deg
    • note: what i did here was 1st determine the size of my triangle legs and then determine the angles to cut the lumber, this made sure that my legs were in proportion to the table and according to the design i wanted. feel free to play with the height and angles - to see if you like another look
    • i used a protractor and drew the angles on the lumber and used a miter saw to cut it
    • my cut list for a pair of triangle legs
      • 4 X 50.6" long - (1 side mitered to angle a/2 = 35.75 degree and the other to b/2 = 18.5 degree)
      • 2 X 32.5" long - both sides mitered to angle a/2 = 35.75
    • then i assembled the legs with glue, blue painters tape and nail gun - clamping is difficult with weird angles
  • well you may not get all the miters perfect - i for sure did not. so i had to improvise,
  • I used my miter saw - and set a depth of about half inch, and used repeated cuts to shave off about half inch of the surface of the glued mitered joint (in a form of a you guessed it - triangle)
  • and then i used my miter and jig saw to cut small piece of cedar that will fit the groove that i just made. glued the piece in and sanded it flush - see the pic for design and cut diagra
  • well not only in reinforced the joint - but it became a design element - and it added 4 more triangles to my tri tri tri tri triangle table :-)

Step 3: Attaching the Triangle Table Surface to the Traingle Legs

Note: this is different from other table builds, as the legs are extending above the table surface, and hence to join the legs to the table skirt we need to cut grooves in the table surface (otherwise table will not sit flush with the walls ~ as the legs will come in between them) and it will not look good

determine the height of the final table -

  • I went with 24" (i measured my office table - and it was 24" - so i went with it)
    • it can range from about 22" to 27"

Making a groove or dado in each arm of the triangle legs (this is optional) (it makes the assembly easy and if glue is used for assembly, it will make the joint stronger)

  • so i measured 24 inches vertically from the ground and marked both the arms of each of the triangle legs
  • at that point i made a groove of 1/4 " deep and of 2.5" long (this accounted for the 1" table thickness and 1.5" thickness of the 2x2 pine used).
  • I used my miter saw - set a depth of about 1/4" and made repeated cuts.
  • this groove will eventually hold the table skirt and be screwed with it

Cutting (corresponding) grooves on the table surface (as mentioned earlier - this will make sure that the table sits flush with the wall)

  • I measured the inside and outside distance between the arm of the triangle legs where i had made the grooves at 24".
  • transposed of that measurements to (the center of) a side of the table where the leg would be attached
  • and then i made grooves 1.5" wide and 1.5" deep (between the transposed inside and outside measurements)
    • this grooves will fit the 2x2 pine.
  • note make this grooves at an angle (a = 71.5) so that the arms of the triangle legs will fit through them snugly.
  • i drew the angles and cutting diagram on the table surface
  • and used a hand saw and a jig saw to make those cuts (4 cuts - 2 on each side, for each arm of the triangle legs).
  • make sure this step is paired - that is pair a leg with a side of the table

Table assembly

  • perform dry assembly in your work place
  • but perform final assembly in the the room where the table will be setup as it might not fit through the doors
  • ask for help, it makes assembly easy (my mom helped me out - shout out to her)
  • we rested the table and skirt into the 1/4" deep and 2.5" long groove on the arms of a triangle leg and clamped it.
  • and repeated the same thing for the other side and leg.
  • then adjust the the clamping to level the table.
  • screwed the skirt with the triangle legs from the inside
  • after it was assembled, i realized that the legs needed a brace at the bottom - to hold them secure - and prevent movement of the legs,
  • so at the center of the legs - i measured the distance between them
  • cut a 2x2 pine, with 45 degree miters and secured with a screw to the base of the legs
First Time Authors Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Authors Contest 2016

Tables and Desks Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tables and Desks Contest 2016