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I really like making tables, as they can be so simple, but can look really good. So here's how to make a small side table. It's in a shaker style. With clean elegant lines and tapered legs, which look fantastic, but are really not that hard to do.

You can download a PDF version of the plan [ here ].

First of all, i've glued up a panel, made from 2 boards of red pine. This will act as the table top. See the plan for dimensions.
So lets get to work and start on the legs. Here you see i'm measuring them. They are each 450mm tall, and I will cut them from square stock first. The tapering will come in later.
Here I am using my try square to draw square lines.
I'm not using the chops saw, to show you that you can do things the 'ye olde' way with good results. TIP: Use a good sharp saw, for best results.
After I have cut my 4 legs to length, I'm tapering them. For more details on the taper size etc.. see the plan. I am passing the top end of the leg onto the blade first.

Here you can see the jig I used to cut all 8 tapers. It's very simple. There is a hinge at the front, allowing the 2 pieces to swivel. There is a stop at the back that the leg sits against. You set the jig up and it then rides against the rip fence.

You can make one or buy one here

After cutting the tapers on the saw. I am left with a few saw marks. These can be removed with a belt sander, but I like to use my bench jointer.
Here we have the 4 legs and the top. Now we need the horizontal pieces called stretchers. These will connect the 4 legs together and provide a frame on which we will fix the top.
I have cut the 4 stretchers to length.

I could use proper mortise and tennon joints, and this is suggestible for bigger tables. As this is only a small table and won't bear much weight, pocket holes are a easier choice.

Here I am using my pocket hole jig and drill. Again very simple.

I'm now screwing the stretchers to the legs, they will be flush with the face of the legs. The 2 tapers on each leg will be on the inside.

To save confusion mark the tapered sides after you have cut them.

I'm now fixing the shorter stretchers on. (AGAIN!)

 After you have connected the 4 legs together, it's a good idea to give them a sanding, this way everything will be nice and flush, its easier to sand them now, when the table top is on it will not be as easy. Then you will be in trouble !!
You can see them here. Flush. Perfect and very good !

I'm fixing the frame assembly down to the table top, NO glue.

I like to use these plastic fixing blocks, and good quality screws.

Click to enlarge !

Here the table is, finished at last. Now all we need to do is wax it.

I have chosen to finish this piece with an antique pine, mellow wax. This really does make the wood look good.

You could also use oil, varnish, polish etc...

Here the finished table is in all it's glory ! After 2 coats of wax and a buff. I'm sure it will get many years of use, beside the computer table.










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