I made this side table from pallet wood, but prepared soft or hard wood would be ideal and save you the time involved in breaking down a pallet, truing up the slats, and filling the nail holes!
What's great about this design, is that it's a breeze to disassemble into a flat pack for storage or transport. The only fixing needed are four screws for the top, and either a long screw or barrel bolt to join the leg assemblies.
I cover the build of this table on my YouTube channel 'Get Into Woodworking'
( http://www.youtube.com/c/GetintoWoodworkingwithMit... )
Step 1: The Design
The completed table consists of a circular top, and two flat leg assemblies, making it easy to store flat.
The two leg assemblies are identical, except for the notch in the rail - one has a notch on the top, while the other has a notch on the bottom. These make a cross halving joint when put together.
The legs are joined to the rails with half lap joints, and receive a taper to the inside.
Step 2: Tabletop
Sufficient boards are laid out to cover the size of the circular top, and then the circle drawn on. The edges should be jointed (planed straight and perpendicular to the faces).
The boards are cut slightly over length, with the outside boards left long, before gluing up. In the photo you can see how I've improvised a clamp using some pallet wood and two wedges.
By leaving the outside boards long, planing the glued up circular top is much easier. Plane or sand it flat.
Now mark the exact circle out (I'm using my home made panel gauge with circle marking attachment) and then saw and plane to the line for a perfect circle.
To finish the top, plane or sand a bevel on the sharp edges.
Step 3: Legs and Rails
Each leg and rail is made by laminating two boards, which makes forming the half lap joints a piece of cake.
The leg shape is copied to the boards (I'm using another leg in the photo as a pattern) and they are all sawn out and planed to this shape.
The length of the rail laminations determine the angle that the legs splay at. This is up to you, but leave enough space between the legs to comfortably secure the top with screws through the rails. The angles that the rail ends should be cut at are taken directly from the legs, as you can see in the photo. One rail lamination extends to the outside of the legs, the other just to the inside of the legs - forming one half of a half lap joint at each end. These are then glued together to make the two rails.
Now four of the leg laminations are shortened at the top, so that when one long and one short are glued together, the other halves of the half lap joints are created.
A notch is cut into each rail, one on the top and one on the bottom, forming a cross halving joint. The width of each notch should be equal to the thickness of the other rail, and they should both be centred on the rails.
Step 4: Joining Leg Assemblies
To join the two rails at the cross halving joint, I've installed a barrel nut and bolt. This requires a through hole in the lower rail, with a counter bore for two rubber washers and the bolt head, and an extension of this hole into the upper rail, which receives a cross hole to hold the barrel nut.
You could more simply use a long screw through one rail into the other. Just don't do up too tight, to allow for a little wood movement.
With the rails completed, you can glue the legs on.
Step 5: Finishing Off
Through holes and counter bores are drilled through the rails, and the base screwed to the top. By making the through holes somewhat larger than the screw shanks, wood movement is allowed for.
Stand the table on a flat level surface, and wedge under any legs until the top is level in all directions. Now scribe around the bottom of the legs, so that they can be cut off level.
Once built, you can separate the three pieces and use whatever finish you like. I've sprayed paint the bottom of the tabletop, and lacquer everywhere else.
If you would like to see a video of the process, you can do so here:
Thanks for reading.
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