Another Christmas present I built and gave to neighbors and
friends was a small, unfinished table. After our home was built,
there was a lot of left over 1X10 and 1X12 material of various
length. Most was just #2 SPF, but there was also some pretty
decent fir. I also "inherited" a number of stud remnants of
various length and quality. To get rid of it, I decided that I'd
surprise the neighbors and friends with a very simple, small,
table that would be great in a laundry room, storage room or even
attic where you'd appreciate a small table to set boxes on when
storing or unpacking them.
I lightly planed the 1X material to remove any minor cupping, then
joined/squared them with a single pass over the joiner. Most were
matched at lengths of 36 to 40 inches, with widths for the two
boards of around 21" to 23"
Legs were ripped from the 2X4's for a length of 35-1/4", using my
taper jig. They started out at 1-1/2" square, tapering on two
sides to a 1" square at the bottom. I used some of the leftover
1X stock to make 3" band boards, allowing for a 3/4" overhang of
the top on sides and ends.
To keep life simple, I didn't use any joinery for the tables,
relying on Robertson head screws and glue to hold the legs to the
bands. The bands themselves were glued and held with finish
nails, so the main reinforcement of the band's joints were the
legs themselves. The bands were held square by the two boards
forming the table top.
Unlike good woodworking technique, I glued and nailed the tops to
the bands. Most of this was done 1 table at a time and since the
glue hadn't set by the time I had one assembled, I merely placed
it on the shop floor and added a couple 60# tractor weights to
level it nicely. I made about a dozen of the tables and left
them on porches with a red ribbon.
The tables were a big hit. Almost everybody can use a little
table somewhere for something- inside or outside. If they
eventually fell apart- so what? In reality, one of my kids used
the table in his apartment through college and it still graces a
corner of his garage, where it is used for everything. A neighbor
placed one along the wall of a laundry room, where it still is
used for soap, Clorox etc. storage. Another was placed in a
basement storage room to set boxes (like a seasonal storage box)
to get stuff out of, rather than use the floor, and several others
went to attics for just that purpose. The best use, so far, was
by another of my kids, who to this very day uses her little table
as her "kitchen table."
Have you ever wondered if the bills
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