DIY Side Table

Article thanks to

  • Download a PDF of this DIY guide.
  • The table is made of small sections of glued laminated timber. If you cannot have these cut to size at your local DIY store, use your own (jig) saw. If you do so, we recommend that you use clamp clips to fix appropriate rails as a parallel guide to the workpiece.
    In our table design, two U-shaped leg frames are held together by an outer frame; panels fastened together by screws on the inside provide stability.

    Note that spruce timber, whether painted or varnished, is less weather-resistant than other types of timber. If you want to be certain of weather resistance, choose teak or acacia wood.

    The following assembly instructions apply to 18-mm-thick spruce glued laminated timber. You must adapt the list of materials accordingly if you opt for other materials or thicknesses.

    Ask your DIY store or carpenter to cut the required boards to size.

    Instructions

    1. Fasten together the legs and cross connector to form base frames

    Predrill the legs and the cross connector and countersink the holes. Using the cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 60 mm), mount the pieces to form a U-shaped leg frame as shown in the illustration. Follow the same procedure for the second pair of legs.

    Tip for screwing together two pieces of wood

    In the piece where you want to insert the screws first, always predrill a hole that is 0.5 to 1 mm larger than the screw diameter; the hole should be countersunk for the screw head. In the piece that you are going to drill second, predrill a hole that is always 1 mm smaller than the screw diameter.

    2. Join the base frames with the frame surrounds

    The next step is to fasten the long frame surrounds to the leg frames with screws. For this purpose, predrill the leg frame according to the specifications in our illustration. Countersink the holes on the side facing the table centre.

    Now place the long frame surround on trestles with the outer side facing downwards. Using the folding rule, align the leg frame on top so that the distance between the outer edge and the narrow sides on both the left and right hand sides is 18 mm (this is the thickness of the frame surrounds and the slats comprising the table top). Secure the strip and frame in place with clamp clips. You can now fit the sections using the cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 60 mm). Follow the same procedure for the other leg frame.

    Place one of the short frame surrounds on your work surface. Align the two leg frames on top with the mounted long frame surrounds in the way you want to assemble the sections. Use clamp clips to secure the leg pairs to the short frame surround and mount the strip using the cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 60 mm) through the predrilled legs. Follow the same procedure for the other short frame surround. The table frame is now complete.

    During this step, refer again to our tip on screwing together two pieces of wood in step

    3. Mount the table slats with screws

    Predrill the leg frame on either side with eight holes to fasten it to the table slats. Position each of the holes so that the screws penetrate the centre of the cross connectors. Countersink the holes from above.

    Lay the table slats on the work surface with the tops face down, in the same way as they will be finally assembled. Use spacer blocks to preserve the precise distance between table slats: the two outer slats should each be 5 mm from the frame surrounds, while the three remaining slats should also be 5 mm from the frame surrounds. All of the slats should be 10 mm apart. Once everything is in the correct position, you can fasten the table slats using a cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 60 mm) from below through the leg frames.

    During this step, refer again to our tip on screwing together two pieces of wood in step

    4. Fit the reinforcement panels

    To ensure the table is fully stable, the final step is to strengthen the two leg frames with reinforcement panels.

    Predrill the reinforcement panels to be fastened to the leg frames so that the screws are inserted in the legs and the cross connectors. Countersink the holes on the side of the reinforcement panels facing the table centre.

    Now place the table with one leg frame side facing down on your work surface. Using the cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 40 mm), fit the reinforcement panel to the leg frame. Turn the table over onto the other side and fit the second reinforcement panel following the same procedure. The side table is now complete.

    During this step, refer again to our tip on screwing together two pieces of wood in step

    5. Sand wood surfaces

    Take time to ensure that the surface of the side table is in the best possible working condition before starting assembly.

    First chamfer all edges with sanding paper with a grit of 120 or 180 at a 45° angle to create a small bevel. Use your sander to sand all visible surfaces in the direction of the wood grain, first with coarse sanding paper (grit of 120, 180) and then with fine sanding paper (grit of up to 240).

    Damp sponge the surfaces afterwards to wipe off the dust. Some loose wood fibres may protrude while the wood is drying. You can remove these with sanding paper with a grit of 180. The wood is now ready for surface treatment. Little tip: Make sure that the sanding paper is sharp enough to remove the wood fibres properly, not just flatten them.

    6. Varnish the surfaces

    First read the manufacturer's safety and handling instructions thoroughly. Make sure the room you are working in is well ventilated and not used for smoking, eating or drinking.
    Generously apply the varnish with a fine spray system and remove any excess varnish with a cloth. Observe the drying times specified by the manufacturer.


    For great DIY advice and power tools visit www.bosch-do-it.com.au

    Want more? We thought you might like this video.

     
     

    Sign Out

    Join the Conversation

    Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

    0 comments