Looking to make an interesting mirror for a gift, I ended up with a Hexagon that was very well received. For the record, I'm a beginning woodworker (and a bit twitchy) but with some basic power tools and lots of imagination I made a nice, multipurpose table AND kept all my digits. The options are almost limitless, but for sake of sanity I kept it to 6.
Step 1: Materials
1x8 select pine (or wood of your choice)
Chop saw or miter box
Screws of choice (I tend to use what I have on hand, in this case 6x1 5/8 drywall screws)
Table legs of choice and leg plates. I use mainly mid-century styled legs and have found essentialhardware.com has some of the best selection and prices out there. For this project I used angled leg plates.
Selection of sand paper
Stain or paint of choice. I used several different but Minwax Dark Walnut is my 'go to'.
Minwax Wipe-On Poly (your choice of finish)
10" round mirror
Mirror brackets or flat plates
Battery powered 'fairy' lights. (you can find these in the bridal section of most craft stores.
Planter or bucket.
Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once......
When I start these projects I tend to get a "FABULOUS IDEA", get very excited and jump in with both feet, assuming I can make do with what I have on hand. While this can lead to some excellent learning experiences and many happy accidents, there is much to be said for planning ahead. Let's start with the wood.
I had forgotten that I used 1x6 on my mirror project, but had some pristine 1x8 select pine available. This is not an issue if using a miter box and hand saw, circular saw, jig saw or band saw. My predisposition for being twitchy means I need tools that won't move. That's why my 12" chop saw is my best friend. We're making a Hexagon, so we need to make 30 degree cuts. A 12" blade comes up a little short on a 1x8. If you can improvise, you're golden.
To make this table with the center open, you'll need 6 trapezoids with the ends cut at 30 degrees. I wanted my table under 24" across, so I measured 4" on the top, which gave me 12" on the bottom. Set your saw or draw your angle to 30 degrees. As you can see, I came up a little short, but nothing a hack saw and sand paper can't fix.
Once your first piece is cut, use it as a template. After the first cut, just flip the board over (instead of moving the blade) mark your line and cut.
I had 6 pieces in no time. Sand any rough edges.
Step 3: Layout and Pre-drill
For one of my tables I wanted it two-tone, so I laid out my pieces to check for fit, and marked the back. It helps to put numbers so the pieces can be assembled in the correct sequence, as well as marking which pieces will be stained. At this point I also mark where my screws will go.
To hide my screws, I used a pocket jig and pre-drilled the holes that will join the pieces.
At this point, if you're going for the 2-tone effect, stain your pieces before assembly. I used Dark Walnut for half and wipe-on poly for the other. This would be a good time to stain your legs as well.
If you have pegboard, screw the legs into the pegboard to dry. (This keeps them out of the way as they dry and makes it look like you know what you're doing to any on-lookers.)
Step 4: Assemble Your Table
Once your stain has dried and you've added a coat of poly, time to assemble.
Apply wood glue to areas that won't be seen in the center of the table. Then add the screws. When all 6 pieces are assembled, clamp and allow to dry overnight.
Wipe off any excess glue before it dries.
Once dry, add your leg hardware. The angled hardware is mounted 3" from the edge. Where you place yours is personal preference as well as type of leg and hardware.
Once your legs have been stained, polyurethaned and dried, screw into hardware.
If you'd rather not have a hole in the center of your table, trace the interior hexagon onto a piece of your 1x8 and cut out and sand.
Normally I'd attach flat or mirror brackets to keep the center in place, but OOPS, didn't have enough to go around. No problem. I cut some small pieces of shims and used them to keep the center in place. They can be swiveled and hidden when you want to use some options.
Step 5: OPTIONS!
Options 1 & 2-Paint your central hexagon different colors on each side. A stenciled monogram would look great here (or perhaps a picture of your favorite Robot)
Attach a 10" mirror (found in any craft store) using flat or mirror brackets. This makes an excellent table, but I choose to hang this one.
Option 4-Lights! (Camera, Action?)
To the underside of the table, attach battery operated "fairy lights", found at any craft store with heavy duty mounting tape. I was amazed at how much light these tiny wires produce. Add a hook to keep them neat when not in use.
To use, find a glass globe. Cover the bottom with duct tape but leave a hole large enough to thread the lights through. Set globe in center of table, turn on lights and prepare to be amazed!
Option 5-Add a plant (and lights)
Option 6-Add beer. By using narrower boards and increasing the size
of the center, this is perfect for inserting a cooler, some ice and your favorite beverage. If you plan on using this outdoors, give it some heavier legs (we used 2x4's) and some extra protection for the wood
I hope you've enjoyed this "ible". Don't let lack of experience stop you from trying. You'll never know what 'happy accidents' you may have!