Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Build a Modern Rustic End Table

Materials and Tools:

2 X 4 cut at 15": 4 , for the legs
2 X 4  cut at 16.5": 2, for the bottom 
2 X 6 cut at 16": 3, for the top
Wooden dowels, 1.5"  -8
Wood screws, 3" - 16
Wood glue
Drill and drill bits
Hand saw (or get the lumber cut according to the measurements from the store)
Electric sander 
Sand paper 120 grit 
Tape measure


1) Cutting lumber: Using a hand saw or power saw cut the lumber. Make the following cuts according to the table below:

   # of Pieces
Lumber size
2 x 4
2 x 4
2 x 6

2) Sanding and Staining: Sand each of the wood pieces using 120 grit paper and stain (For staining I used Minwax polyshades-stain & polyurethane in 1step in expresso gloss finish) 

3)  Assembling side legs and the bottom pieces: Lay one of the  bottom piece (2 x 4 with 16.5" ) with its one of the long 2" side facing down. Place the two leg pieces ( 2 x 4 with 15 ") on its two ends of the bottom piece. Be sure to place them perpendicular to the bottom piece. Predrill 2 screw holes on the ends of the bottom piece to attach the legs. A total of 4 screws are required, two at each ends. Similarly assemble the other side.  

Attach the bottom piece to two side legs

4) Assembling top: If you have pocket hole Kreg  jig, you can connect the top three pieces without much difficulty.  I used wood dowels to connect the three pieces for the end table top (I do not have Kreg jig).  

Lay out the three pieces for the top (2 x 6 with 16"), side by side with their broad side facing down. Align the boards to be mated and mark the positions of the dowels with a pencil. Choose the middle piece and predrill four holes for the wooden dowels on the center of its two sides. The depth of the holes should be approximately half of the length of a dowel. Similarly, choose the first and third piece and predrill holes for the dowels in the center of only one side of each piece. 

Relative positions of dowel holes:Four dowel holes on both sides of the middle piece and four holes on only one side of first and third piece
To install the dowels in the dowel hole place a small amount of glue into each predrilled holes in one board, insert dowel into the glued hole, slightly hammer on the other side of the dowel to tighten the dowels in the holes. Then position the next board to be mated onto the corresponding dowels with its side with holes. Fill dowel holes with glue and apply generous amount of glue on both surfaces to be joined. Inset the dowel into the the holes with glue. Slightly hammer the other side the board to make sure the dowels are properly fit in between the boards. Once the glue has dried, attach third board following the same procedure. You may use a strong strap around the three boards to tighten the joints.

5) Assembling the legs to the top:
Get the two sides that have been assembled in step 3, with its free ends of the legs sticking up. Place the assembled top on the legs, predrill screw holes, and screw in place. Eight screws are used, 2 for each legs.  

6) Getting the rustic finish: You can basically do anything to imitate the natural wear and tear to get a rustic/distressed/vintage look to the furniture. Here I am using sandpapers to sand off the stain especially from the edges of the end table. A few nails, screws and hammer are used to make some dents and a steel wool to make scratches on the top. Wipe of the dust and make sure to sand the rough edges and apply a coat of clear sealant once finished.

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