See that wooden chair up there? I grew up with a set of four of those little chairs in our house. Recently, as my parents were moving my mother mentioned that they might not be keeping them around for much longer. I offered to adopt them.
I decided a small table was in order. After all, there is only so much a child can do with four little chairs and no table to match. Being my first table I've built I'm pleasantly surprised with it's sturdiness.
Here's how I did it.
But first I'd like to point out that the dimensions may seem crazy to you. This was sort of an experimental project for me and the top piece was scrap wood from my father's garage. I sort of based all of the other dimensions off of its size. It would be easy to apply the following instructions and adapt it to whatever size of table you would like. Here's how mine turned out.
I first started out with a large piece of plywood. I rounded the corners with a scroll saw and sanded that sucker down.
Next I went to Home Depot and picked out a couple of those long boards that are super super cheap because many of them are bent or have knots throughout. I believe they are 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" and a 1" x 1 1/2". They are shown in the photo below. I sifted through the piles of boards until I found some nice straight ones. I brought them home and cut them to the desired size.
To assemble the table I measured 1" around all sides of the table and used that as a guide as to where I would place my thin pieces for the table skirt. I drew a thin line of glue on each piece before I laid them down, then clamped them into position. I drilled holes before I placed in screws so that the screws wouldn't crack the wood. You can see where I placed the screws in the photo below. There are two screws in each piece of the table skirt.
To make sure that the screws would not poke out through the top of the table I used 2" screws. However, this might not be the length of screw you would need if you were using boards of a different thickness. I suggest using a ruler to determine how long of a screw will reach through your skirt and securely hold the table top without poking through.
Once the skirt was in place I attached the table legs to the skirt as shown below. Remember to put a dab of glue on the end of the leg before putting it in place, and drill holes before screwing in the screws.
And guess what? That's it!
To make this a child friendly table I made sure to sand the heck out of it so that slivers wouldn't be a problem. I painted three layers of fast drying polyuethane clear gloss so that the surface would be sealed. This way if the kids spill food or drink on it I can wipe the surface right off.
Having this project turn out so well made me excited to try my hand out with some more woodworking. I think it would be fun to make a table that is slightly larger so that I can place a basin in the center and fill it with beans or water.
How about you? Any links to a handy piece of furniture you've made?