Side Table or Plant Stand Made From 2x4s




About: I like to design and build random things.

This project was made with two 2x4s and two solid wood round discs. Although it’s hard to see in the featured photo, the pillar has a unique shape due to the v-notched 2x4s. This design is very sturdy and should hold about anything you would like to place on it. An alternate version is shown at the end of this instructable with octagons for the top and bottom.


Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Table Saw
  • Pocket-Hole Jig
  • Drill/Bits
  • Sander
  • Ratchet Strap (2 or more)
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil


  • 2x4 x 8’ (x2)
  • Wood Sheet (3’ x 1.5’ x 1” thick)
  • Or Purchase
    • Round Table Top (18” Diameter, 1” thick)
    • Round Table Bottom (15” Diameter, 1” thick)
  • Screws
  • Glue

Step 2: Drawing

You will be building to this drawing.

Step 3: V-Notch for Sides

You will first cut the V-Notch into the 2x4s. It was easier for me to work with shorter boards so I cut the 2x4s to 48” long. Set the table saw blade angle to 45 degrees and move the rip fence so it just clears the blade. At this point you might want to experiment with scrap wood until the blade height makes a perfect V. Make two passes to complete the notch. Repeat this process for all four 48” sections.

Step 4: Sides to Length

Cut the 2x4s to the desired length. I wanted a 24” tall stand so the side segments are each 22” long. You will need eight sides to complete the pillar. Depending on your cuts, you might have a little material in the center of the groove. If so, clean up any rough spots with sand paper.

Step 5: Pocket Holes

Drill holes for table top. I used a pocket-hole drill for these holes. I only added holes to four of the eight sides.

Step 6: Fit Check

Do a fit check at this point. If everything was cut correctly, you have a nice octagon shape.

Step 7: Assemble Pillar - 1

Add a liberal bead of glue down the center of the notch of each of the eight sides.

Step 8: Assemble Pillar - 2

Four of the pieces should have pocket-holes drilled in them. Assemble in an alternate manner so four screw locations are across from one another. Use ratchet straps to pull the pieces together. I only used two but additional ones would apply more pressure and make tighter joints.

Step 9: Assemble Pillar - 3

You now have a complete pillar. Sand to remove any blemishes and break sharp edges

Step 10: Top / Bottom

Cut 15" and 18" diameter disk for the top and bottom. I took a shortcut and purchased mine.

Step 11: Paint or Stain

I found it easier to stain the pieces before final assembly. I used a cabernet colored stain from Varathane and a polyurethane from Minwax.

Step 12: Attach Base

The base should be screwed in from the bottom. Center the base on the pillar. This process took a little trial and error but I eventually got it centered. Drill and countersink holes through the bottom of the base into the center of the 2x4s. Add 2” long screws to attach the base to the pillar.

Step 13: Add Top

Turn over and center the pillar on the top. Attach the top with the four pocket-hole screws.

Step 14: Finished Table

Step 15: Plant Stand

Step 16: Optional Design



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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    cool looked easy nice joint great idea

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    One of the 12 Fox Fire books show how to build a Keg with only hand tools.

    The kegs where used to store nails,pickles, beer, wine.

    Your photo reminded me of the Keg, but you went another way with your table.

    I am going to make one of your pillar myself.

    Good job, I can see you put a lot of time & work in it.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks. It really didn't take that much work to build. Actually, I took more time documenting it than the build :).


    3 years ago

    I believe the v-notching is referred to as "bird's mouth joinery". They used to use it to make ship's masts.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    This will help if others want to build similar designs.


    Reply 3 years ago

    I always thought ship's masts were solid. I just looked it up, I see there are lots of variations of it. Thanks!