This was a fun project. It had a few “firsts” for me. This was my first time tapering legs, mortising with a chisel, and the first time I have used floating blocks to secure a top. The project cost $65 and took around ten hours to put together.
I originally received a concept sketch for this piece with the three basic dimensions. It had to be 36″ long, 32″ tall, and 14″ front to back. It was also requested to be unfinished. I took to SketchUp and came up with a design for approval. SketchUp is hands down one of the greatest new age tools for woodworkers. To be able to quickly and easily see your design in 3d before you even make the first cut is so amazing.
Another goal with this project was to turn this into a complete how to with diagrams but unfortunately I ran out of time. Maybe I will revisit all of these previous builds and turn them into how to’s.
I made the legs by laminating two 2x4s and then milled them down to 2″x2″x31.25″. The mortises for the bottom shelf came next. This was the first time I made chiseled mortises and I believe I took the wrong approach. My cuts would have been much better if I would have used a dado blade to rough out the shape on a 45° angle, then clean and finish the cuts with the chisel. It’s just one of those things to learn from.
To make the tapered legs I threw together what I though was a temporary tapering jig. It ended up being good enough to hang on the wall for future use. I used a scrap piece of 3/4″ melamine shelving for the base of the jig and drilled 6 evenly spaced holes for t-nuts. My goal was to have a series of locations to use threaded rod to create posts to secure blocks to. It worked great. I had enough rod to attach a few locating blocks on bottom and then my leg hold downs on top.
The sides and back of the table are just some scrap 3/4″ CDX plywood. It’s some really low quality wood but after a few shallow passes in the planer they turned out alright. They are attached to the legs with three pocket hole screws on each vertical edge. I also cut a 1/4″ groove 1/2″ from the top of these pieces to accept the top hold down blocks.
The front face frame was made from 1-1/2″ wide strips. Pocket hole screws shine when making face frames. They are just incredibly easy to setup and secure. I spaced the front face frame so that I would end up with two 6-1/2″ tall by 12″ wide drawers. This will give plenty of storage.
Before assembly I cut the bottom panel to fit. I used a pre-made panel for this shelf and the top surface. I would normally have made my own panels but this was a lot quicker and I was already pressed for time. The bottom shelf was glued and secured with pocket hole screws from below. This turned out great!
To make the drawers I just used some more scrap 3/4″ plywood. The front and back were attached to the sides with pocket hole screws as well. The pocket holes were drilled on the back of the back piece so you have to take the drawer out completely to see the holes. The pocket holes on the front piece are hidden by the attached false front.
I finished off the sides with some 1″ molding with a routed profile. Nothing fancy, just a simple chamfer. Both drawers and the top received the chamfer detail as well. In the end I am left with a sofa table. It was actually requested as a bathroom table but due to its shape, I will call it a sofa table. If you would like to build one of your own you can download my SketchUp file below. I do not have a materials list at this time. You can also check out the build video below as well.
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