We needed a couple of end tables for our living room. Rather than heading out to buy them, we decided to make them. We were going to make two matching tables, but thought that it might be kind of cool to have two different styles; similar, but different. It also gave us an excuse to try two different methods for making end tables. In this build we'll be using mostly pocket screws and store bought stair case spindles.
What you'll need
- Wood of your choice (for cutting into strips for table top)
- We used maple, cherry and walnut
- 4 Stair Spindles
- Thin metal bar stock (for making mounting brackets)
- Acrylic sheet (for shelf)
- Wood glue
- Means to make pockets holes (Kreg jig or something similar)
- Pocket screws
Make sure you check out the video, it shows a bit more of each step than the images do. Please enjoy and if you make it or something like it, we'd love to see it.
Step 1: The Plans
These are the rough plans.
The top of the end table consists of glued up strips of wood in alternating species. The top, when finished, measures 14" x 13".
The legs of the end table consist of four store-bought stair case spindles.
The rails between each leg are hardwood. We used maple. They are attached with glue and pocket screws.
Step 2: Making the Table Top
The top is a simple glue up. We laid out our pattern before hand. Then we planed and jointed each strip so we could have a solid glue up. For this table top we chose walnut, maple and cherry.
We made sure to clean up as much glue along the way as possible.
Whatever was left, mainly on the bottom, was chiseled away and sanded. Of course we sanded both sides for a smooth finish on the top as well.
NOTE - All of the strips were cut on the band saw from various pieces we had (the video shows some of this step a little better than images). The maple we used was actually some old maple flooring.
Step 3: Making the Cross Braces
Each of the braces in between the legs is a piece of hardwood. We used maple. Each of these received four pocket holes; two on each end. (Measurements in the images of step 1). You'll need 8 of these in all.
Step 4: Making the Base
The cross braces were placed at the very top of each leg, since this will hold the table top, and at a specific location toward the bottom, which will hold the shelf. The placement of the bottom rail doesn't really matter as long as they are all the same height from the bottom.
NOTE - Getting a drill or driver into this space may be difficult, so you may need to use a screw driver.
Step 5: Attaching the Table Top
To attach the top we made our own metal brackets. These were cut from a thin piece of stock steal.
We drilled two holes in each piece.
Then we clamped them into the vice and bent them to a 90 degree angle with a hammer.
Attaching the top was easy. We measured and clamped the top into place and then drilled pilot holes for each screw and drove them in with a screwdriver.
Step 6: Finishing the Base and Top
We did some cleaning up around the edges and rounded them over a bit. Then we did a little more light sanding. We finished it all up with some wipe-on polyurethane, about 4 coats in all.
Step 7: Making the Acrylic Shelf
The last thing we did was cut a piece of sheet acrylic and spray it with a frosted glass spray. It gave us an extra shelf and it hid the pocket holes that were visible on the bottom cross braces (check the video for a little more on this). Some have suggested placing lights underneath the shelf, which would be a nice addition.
Step 8: All Done!
Now we have a nice little end table. It was a lot easier to make than we thought it would be. Buying the spindles saved a lot of time and seemed like a good idea since we don't currently have a lathe. The acrylic in the bottom also added a nice feel to the piece. But our favorite part has to be the top.
We hope you enjoyed this DIY project and the video that goes along with it. If you have any questions or comments please let us know, we'd be more than happy to help you out. If you're interested check out our YouTube channel as well and consider subscribing. We make a wide variety of DIY, woodworking and craft related videos every week.