Introduction: Wood Console Table
So the wife said we needed a table for drinks by the hot tub! Something we could place drinks on and could also hold towels and robes. I've made this type of table once before for a friend, they wanted a table by the front door where they could keep keys, mail and dog leashes. It's an easy build that takes about an afternoon. I also wanted to see what I could build out of scrap wood I had laying around from previous projects, aka to lazy to go to the Home Depot!
TOOLS! Now there are many different ways one can make this project but I'll list what I used.
Chop saw, table saw ( for ripping), tape measure, speed square, carpenters pencil, drill, kreg jig system, power screw gun, sander, lumber, screws, glue, sand paper, 80 & 120 grit and a few clamps.
Step 1: Go Through Your Scrap Pile!
OK so we will need lumber, I went through my scrap piles and was able to scrounge up just enough for this project. For the legs and top & bottom sides you will need three 6' 2x4s. For the front or face and back...top and bottom You will need three 8' 1x6 boards. The top of the table is just three 6' fence planks 5 1/2" wide for the bottom shelf you will need two more fence planks. I'm giving these measurements as if I was going to purchase the lumber....keep in mind I used scraps and had several 3' 2x4s and even a few 12" pieces...for the bottom shelf I used fence plank scraps. The largest scraps I used were the 4' 1x6 boards for the face top and bottom!
Step 2: Cut and Rip Side Sections
First cut the 4 legs, 27" each....be sure to cut on the outside edge of the line...if you cut inside the line you will be short because of the saw blade width. Then cut 2 top and bottom side sections, 10 1/2" wide. I thought the 2x4s looked way to thick for the legs or sides of the table so using my table saw I ripped all of the side cut lumber down to 2 1/2" wide....now if you wanted to save time just purchase 2x2's for the sides (I don't think they look as good)
Step 3: Assemble the Table Sides
Clamp down the top center of each side and using the Kreg jig system drill 2 holes on each end...I used the 2 1/2" kreg screws. For the bottoms I drilled one hole on each end. IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE KREG JIG SYSTEM....you can simply drill pilot holes on the outside edge of the side rails and use longer screws!! Time to assemble the 2 sides of the table. Clamp down the right side, line up the top section....apply some wood glue on touching edges, be sure that it's perfectly lined up with the top edge and clamp. Screw together. Now attach the left side by lining up, apply wood glue to the touching edges and screw together. Time for the bottom, measure up 5" from bottom of the leg and Mark, line up the bottom section with that line (this will be the bottom shelf) apply wood glue on both sides where the material touches and screw into place...unclamp and wipe off excess glue. You now have one side.....repeat this step for the other side.
Before moving on to the next step I sanded both the sides down.....here's a trick, use a belt sander first over all the joints. 80 grit. This will make everything look like it fits perfect! Then sand everything with the orbital sander. 120 grit...I wanted this to look old or rustic so there wasn't a "finish" sanding.
Step 4: Frame Assembly
Now we are ready for the front face and back rails of the table. let's make the top first. I took a 1x6" board and cut two 42" sections. At 6" they were to wide for the top so I ripped them down to 4" wide with the table saw. I'm sure you can just purchase an 8' 1x4 if you don't have a table saw.
Now clamp down the rails and drill two holes on each end with the Kreg jig system. IF NOT USING THE KREG JIG SYSTEM...just drill pilot holes through the outside of the sides of the table and screw into the front and back rails...see pic!! Do the same for both rails. Before screwing together sand them down a bit. Don't forget to wood glue the touching joints before screwing together and wipe off excess glue. tip (I keep a wet rag close by).
Now you have the frame of the table, time for the bottom. I used another 1x6 board and cut it into one 42". Then that board was ripped down the center with the table saw giving me two 42" 3"wide bottom boards.
Using the Kreg jig, drill one hole on each end. Sand them both down a bit...it will save time later. Now line up the face bottom board with the side bottom....glue the touching joints and screw into place....if your cuts are correct this should be a tight fit. Repeat this for the back bottom rail.....be sure to have the holes for the screws on the inside of the table...they should not be visible from the outside of the table.
You will need two top supports for the top fence planks of the table. Measure between the two top rails, this should be 14" you should have some of the cut down 2x4's left over from building the sides. Using the Kreg jig, (use a smaller screw for this step) drill a hole on each end of both sections. Measure in from the ends 12-14 inches and install braces, Be sure to glue touching joints before screwing together. You now have the full frame for the table!!
Step 5: Top and Bottom of Table
Use 3 of the 6' fence planks for the top. Using the chop saw cut them at 50" each....save the scrap for the bottom shelf. Sand down the sides of the fence planks that will be the top surface of the table.
Time to make a decision!! OK so for our table we wanted it to be flush against the hut tub or wall so when setting the first top board it was set flush against the back...see pic. IF the table will be "free standing" you may want the top to have a lip all around. IF you want the lip just let the 1st plank hang over the edge 1/2". You will need to space out the two other top boards to have the same 1/2" lip on the front and there will be a small gap between the boards. Be sure that the lip is the same on each end of the table.
On our table there are no gaps because we went flush with the back of the table. Before securing the tops be sure to glue all touching joints before screwing into place. Small drywall screws work great. Now if you wanted a cleaner look you could fill over the screw heads with some wood putty and paint the project. Scraps and old reclaimed wood was used in this project so there were already screw holes and deep gouges so I left all the screws visible...however all the screws are counter sunk.
The bottom shelf is made using the scrap and one more 6' fence plank. Cut them at 16" each. You will need 7 of them. Sand down the tops of each bottom section. Start out with the outside board and set it flush up against the side. Glue touching wood surfaces and screw into place, one screw into the front bottom and one screw into the back bottom rail will be enough. space the bottom boards out about 1/2" from each other. Wipe off excess glue...sand down the rest of the table 120 grit!!
Step 6: Finish Table
There are so many ways to finish the table, you can use paint or stain with any color you choose. We wanted it to match the gray of the hot tub and we still wanted it to look rustic so I used a very simple black wash. Super fast and easy.....you can do the same "wash" with any color. Using a bucket fill the bottom with just a few inches of water. Dip your paint brush half way into the flat latex wall paint and then place it into the water...clean out the brush like this a few times...now the water will be very dark. Paint the table with the dirty paint water....start with the top ad work your way down.....while it's wet if you want it darker dip the edge of the brush into the paint and spread it directly to the watered down surface.....it will dry much lighter than it looks wet. IF the table will be outdoors you may want to go over it once dry with a final waterproof clear coat...that top should hold up great as it's pressure treated lumber. Enjoy!! Hope you had some fun!
Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge