Midcentury-Inspired Kitchen Table

6U8A0938Oh, man, I was so excited when Katie asked me to build a table for her dining room.  After a few texted sketches and inspiration pics back and forth, I had a pretty good idea what she was looking for. This table can be made for about 75 bucks; you'd be hard-pressed to beat that! At Ikea, a table of comparable size starts at around $150, and it's not custom made! I'm also pretty stoked it can be made from a single sheet of hardwood plywood. 

Supplies:
-3/4 hardwood plywood (4' x 8')
-stain
-screws
-wood glue
-3/8" doweling (if you pocket screw)
-paint/stain/poly
-painter's tape (get the kind with edge lock technology; it's worth the extra couple of bucks)

Tools:
-table saw
-jigsaw
-Skil saw
-hand saw
-pocket hole jig (you can get a Jr. system for 40 bucks on Amazon; they're so handy!)
-measuring table
-straight edge/speed square
-pencil
-clampsAbeautifulmess_mid-century-inspired-table-(click-through-for-more)Step One: When I start a project, I like to sketch out a plan so I can have something to look at. Since I already made the plans for this table, you should print it out so you have something you refer to, write notes on, and scrutinize. After you have the plans, I would set up the plywood on a horizontal surface so you can easily mark on it. If you have a work bench, you're lucky; if not, you can use the floor, a couple saw horses, even your kitchen table (oh wait, you're making it).

I like to measure and line out everything that I'm going to be cutting. Try to be precise as possible— measure twice, cut once. You know the routine.

Cut out all the pieces. I used a Skil saw for most of the cuts. If you haven't used a Skil before or are feeling a little rusty, practice on some scrap wood, making longer cuts as straight as possible. Any wobbles off mark will be apparent on something like this, with a lot of straight lines. After cutting, sand everything. Start with a more aggresive grit (like an 80 grit), then move on up to a finishing grit (220 or above).

Don't be afraid to use a saw. Seriously, you can do it. It takes 40% skill, 45% patience, 15% hand eye cordination.* Ask Laura; she cuts stuff all the time like a champion!  Sarah wants to learn how to use power tools too. (Actually, who wants a post about general/entry-level power saw/drill usage?. Maybe I should put one together soon? I'd be into that. Let me know in the comments if that's something that would interest you.) Okay, back to table making.

*percentages may or may not have just been pulled out of thin air.

Abeautifulmess_mid century inspired table doweling (click through for more)Abeautifulmess_mid century inspired table doweling (click through for more)Abeautifulmess_mid century inspired table doweling (click through for more)Abeautifulmess_mid century inspired table doweling (click through for more)Step Two: After you have the leg pieces cut out, assemble them by screwing piece A to piece B, as pictured. I pocket-hole screwed them so I could hide the holes with doweling. I wanted the legs to look as clean as possible. Be sure to use wood glue; you want the legs to be really sturdy.

0I0B63860I0B6386Sometimes a B can become glasses.

0I0B6386Step Three: Before staining the legs, I lettered each one. Then I set them up on the underside of the table top, then traced the tops of the legs on each of their corners, then lettered their corresponding corners. After the stain dries, be sure to sand with a fine grit (around 220) sandpaper between coats of poly.

0I0B6383While the legs are drying, cut the corner notches out with a jigsaw. Again, you want those lines super straight and square, so practice on scrap beforehand if you're not feeling confident. 

0I0B63880I0B6388Step Four: After you have all the legs built, sanded, stained, coated with polyurethane, and the notches cut out of the table top, you can start to assemble! Actually, hold on. You'll want to build four leg supports (figure 1). All they are, are two pieces of wood glued and screwed together. Dimensions are on the diagram. You'll want to take into account the angle of the leg, so after you have the pieces cut, hold them on the back of the leg and trace the angle, then cut off. As you can see below, I did not take account for the angle of the legs on the supports and had to sand them all down to match the angle of the legs :/ Real professional of me. 

At this stage, be liberal with the wood glue, wiping any excess with a rag. Make sure your table top is upside down on a flat surface.

Go ahead and attach all the supports with glue and screws. You may need to remark the leg letters if they get covered up.

0I0B63900I0B6390Step Five: Attach legs! Make sure the tops are flush with the top of the table. I put in four screws per leg. Two screws were pocket-screwed in the leg, and two were screwed through the leg supports. After the glue dried, the legs were super sturdy. After the legs are attached, you can flip the table. I love the feeling when you've been building something and there's that one step where the thing you've been planning for and spent so much time on has finally materialized. It doesn't hurt either when it's not all wobbly.  It's been Katie's family dining table for a couple months now, and it's holding up! 

Now you can paint or stain the table any color your little heart desires. Don't forget to tape off the legs!

6U8A09426U8A09426U8A0942I really hope somebody tries this little project out; it was really fun. A table is someting that gets a lot of use, so I feel like it's extra rewarding when you build your own. Happy building! -Josh

Credits // Author: Josh Rhodes. Photos: Sarah Rhodes and Josh Rhodes. Photos edited with Petal of the Fresh Collection.

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