Something on the side
A simple side table is an ideal accompaniment to the Adirondack chair (see The Big Easy, SA Gardening November 2006). And you can use this table anywhere in the garden or around the braai.
There’s always a need for a side table – especially when the family moggie is determined to take over the armrest, which would normally be used as the resting spot for your cup of coffee. And a side table like this is quick and easy to make.
Meranti - Total requirement:
Two 2.4m lengths of 96x22mm;
One 1.2m length of 22x22mm batten;
30 eight-gauge stainless-steel screws – 30mm.
Finish of your choice:
We left this plain as the piece would be kept under cover, but for any furniture that will be exposed to the elements, applying a good quality finish – paint or varnish - is a good idea.
Two feet – 450mm;
Two legs – 400mm;
Two leg braces – 340mm;
Four table slats – 500mm;
22x22mm table-top braces – two 400mm.
Dimensions of finished article:
Height – 445mm; width 440mm; length 505mm.
1. Mark the centre point on the legs and the feet and make a secondary mark either side of the centre mark on the feet, 48mm either side. This is where the curve of the foot ends on each side.
2. Mark up the curves as desired.
3. Using a paint can and sandpaper like this will enable you to smooth out any imperfections in your cutting – not that you had any, anyway… or did you?
4. When rounding off the ends, use a narrow blade like this so that your jigsaw can handle the tightest curve.
5. Once you have cut and shaped the first foot, it becomes the template for the second. Remember, when cutting the second one, cut on the line – not outside it – as the lines will be slightly to outside of the first foot’s shape, anyway. If you cut outside the line in the case of the second foot, the result will be deeper than its cousin.
6. Use a carpenter’s square to ensure that the foot is at a perfect right-angle; in this case, the second foot is being used just to support the end of the leg.
7. Use three screws per foot to secure it to the leg.
8. and 9
Once you have secured the first foot, attach the second to its foot using one screw only, and ensure both legs are perfectly aligned; only then finishing attaching the second.
10. Assembling the table top: set the table braces (22x22mm x 400mm) 60mm in from the sides and attach with screws. Each end one need be attached only with one screw per side, the others require two screws per side, to ensure that they remain square.
11. Each brace is centred left and right, so there’s an overhang of about 20mm on each side. Note the use of 22mm spacers (offcuts) to ensure equal spacing of the slats.
12. The completed table top.
13. Attach the legs to the inner edges of the braces with the feet outermost. Use two screws per leg to secure in place.
14. Attach the leg braces as shown, two screws per side to secure them in position. These ensure the legs are rigid. Note how they fit snugly between the table braces.
The result – a simple-to-make little table with a number of uses in the garden, home and on the patio.
Thanks to Rod Baker for this great woodworking project. You can contact Rod at:
Steps 1 - 14 below in sequence.