This is my first instructable, and i showing how i made a sawbuck hall table for my school hard materials technology project. I made mine out of american white oak, and made it to my mothers specifications.
Step 1: Planning/Designing
This is one of the most important steps. i made several prototypes before making the final product otherwise it would have been a waste of expensive materials. I have added a picture with the measurement i think i used but i will update with the real ones later when i have double checked.
For this project, i used a tablesaw, bandsaw, belt sander, dropsaw, router,
Step 2: Buy Wood
Because I am making this hall table for my mum, and she wants it made of american white oak which is crazily expensive. I took my dad with me when i bought it, to pay for it :) and to make sure i got the best value for money.
Step 3: Preparing Wood
I put my wood through a thicknesser until it was the right thickness and the main lumps were gone. I also planned what pieces would be used for each component of the table so that i made sure i had enough wood.
Step 4: Cut Legs
This is where the prototypes came in handy, because i made a few before i got the angles and height looking right. I would recommend for anyone making one to make their own prototypes to see what looks best for their heights and needs. i needed mine to fit into a step in the hallway, so had ti make it narrow enough so it didn't sit out, and make the rest to look right with that width.
To make this easier, i drew the legs on a piece of wood, then used that to help me get the sizes correct on the final pieces. i also cheated in this step, because to get the legs to the right thickness, i will have to double up the wood, because wood twice the thickness was more expensive. it also made the legs easier, because it meant i did not need to router out where the legs crossed.
now cut the wood to the right width and length, then set up the drop saw to the right angle to cut the ends. because the angle i wanted couldn't be reached, i had to hold the wood on the correct angle with another piece of wood.
Step 5: Glue Legs
I now glued the legs together with gorilla wood glue and clamped it. When it was dry i sanded them all down till all edges were smooth and flush.
Step 6: Cutting Sideboards and Dovetails
Cut the sideboards to the correct length and width, then trace out the desired shape of the dovetails on both ends. Then use a bandsaw to cut out the dovetail shapes. These can be sanded with a belt sander starting rough and working up the grits until smooth. The edges can also be sanded so they are not sharp.
To get the dovetails to the shape i wanted, i created another one from scrap wood to make sure i had it correct before cutting the oak.
I also made boards to sit in each end, by holding the uncut board inside, then tracing on the outside to get the angles correct, and so it fitted perfectly.
Step 7: Cutting Dovetails in the Legs
Trace around the dovetails on the side boards, and use a router set to the correct depth to cut out the shapes. Use a board clamped along the line, so that you don't go over the and it helps keep them straight. I did 2 practices on scrap wood before doing the proper ones so i was more confident that i wouldn't mess it us, and so i knew what i was doing.
Step 8: Making Top
For the top, i had to glue two pieces together side by side, so that it was as wide as i wanted it. for this join, i used a biscuit joint, and glue. There was knot hole in one of the board i used for the top, but left it there unfilled, because mum liked the look of it.
I am disappointed that i have lost this pictures of this step
Step 9: Final Sanding and Assembly
The final steps are to sand and make sure all of the pieces are up to standard. this is also the time to stain, or oil it if you wish. I left it as is, but in future, mum may want it distressed to add a new look. it can now be assembled, by pushing the lower boards into the dovetail cutouts, and the rest can be screwed with L brackets and short screws that cannot be seen.
Step 10: Notes
The sandpaper i used was 120, then 200, then 400 grit.
One important thing to know about American White Oak, is that the grain goes a certain direction, and care should be taken to cut and sand with the grain, so that it doesn't chip or become rough.
In the future, i may end up distressing the top and legs, and maybe oiling or staining it. i will wait till it has been used for a bit until i or my mum has decided what to change, or what to improve.
This is also in the furniture contest so please vote if you think it is good enough :)