Ok friends, work with me on this one. This is the first piece of furniture I have built from scratch and I did it without any woodworking plans. I want to share it with you because it is an inexpensive DIY breakfast bar and you can make it to suit your needs, like I did. Problem is, I’m not as good at creating the plans for you as I am at building, so I am going to do my best but please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments and I will answer them.
I actually built this before I built my bench, but I did that one with plans from Ana White so it was much easier to write about. This one took way more thought on how to explain to you all.
This is the spot that I needed the table for. I found this awesome 50s kitchen stool which is not a standard size in todays market. I also had very specific width and depth I wanted for this space so I had no choice but to figure out how to build my own.
The table cost me under $40 to make. I did have the wood stain and the screws as well as all the tools I needed but still, $40 is amazing for solid wood furniture.
Here’s what you will need.
- Kreg 2 1/2″ screws
- 6- 2x4x8
- 2- 2x3x8
- 2- 2x6x8
Please be aware that I built this specifically to suit the height of my chairs. This will not be high enough for standard stools. Please alter your supply and cut list accordingly.
- Legs: 4- 2×4 33″
- Top: 4- 2×6 47 3/4″ I did this so I could use 2 8 foot boards and get all the pieces I needed for the table top, it’s economical and I’m cheap.
- Apron: 2- 2×4 13 1/4″
- 2- 2×4 36 1/2″
- Lower Supports: 2- 2×3 13 1/4″
- 1- 2×3 36 1/2″
- Angled Supports: We will talk about that later
Some things are better with printable visual aids. The black marks indicate pocket holes for joining the pieces together. It’s not overly technical, just use your common sense and the placement of the holes will be great.
Here are my words of wisdom. First, build from the bottom up. Second, with enough screws even a slightly warped piece of wood will sit right, but try to find straight pieces. Do you know how to do that? No? Ok, hold one end of the board up to your face with the other on the ground so you look straight down the length of it. Turn it every which way and if you see a bend, leave it. You will be amazed at what you can see from this angle. While you are inspection your boards, take a look at the knots, the grain, the “imperfections” and make sure you like it. These characteristics will be highlighted when you stain or paint your piece. I happen to like the uniqueness of each piece of wood and the little things that make it different than any other piece of wood.
I used pocket holes drilled with my Kreg Jig to build this. I did not use wood glue, I probably should have but I always forget!
As always, please follow all the manufacture’s instructions for your tools and wear eye and ear protection and be safe. It’s important!
Let’s get building.
First things first. If you want your boards to sit tightly together for your table top, run them through a table saw to cut the curved edge right off. Take a look at the difference.
Here is why it matters. If you leave the curved edge, you end up with these dips between the pieces of wood which can make things like putting down a drink, a little tricky.
Once you run it through the table saw you can get the boards to sit tight and make a flatter surface. Much more pleasing for a table top.
It is safe to pre-cut all the pieces for this except the angled supports. Those can be tricky especially if you are new to building like I am. Pre-drill all your pocket holes according to the placement I tried so hard to depict in the picture above. The build will go faster this way especially if you only have one drill and have to keep switching the bits back and forth to drill holes then screw them in place.
I drilled all my tabletop pieces together first since it was simple and knocks something off the to do list. Score! This is it all stained and puuurty!
Now it’s time to get working on the legs. I used 2x4s because I didn’t want them to be too chunky, not that there’s anything wrong with that. So I had to decide if I wanted the 4″(well really it’s 3 1/2″) side facing the side or the front. I chose front. If you want to turn them, change the plans accordingly. That is the beauty of making something yourself!
You will notice I only had you drill one pocket hole in each leg. Well, I pushed the apron right up flush with the legs so there is only room for one screw, but don’t fret, the apron is double screwed into the legs and then into the table top so we are good. You can see in this picture how it all ends up.
FYI I am helping you learn from my mistakes. As you can see from this picture, I did not build the entire base first and I regretted it. I ended up having to take the top off and re-secure it to get the base to sit right. You don’t put the frosting on before you bake the cupcakes. #TheMoreYouKnow But the picture is valuable nonetheless. You see how confusing things can get.
It may be easiest to attach the back legs with the apron and bottom support first because it can lay flat and you can work on the sides.
Notice that I turned the bottom pieces for the sides width wise and turned it height wise on the back. This was to accommodate the way the legs are turned. If I did the back the same as the sides, it would have stuck out. Just be sure to center the side pieces with the back piece.
Because I turned the base support on the bottom to have the long side facing front, you want the pocket holes to be turned toward the back so they will be against the wall.
One all your legs are attached, we have to contend with those angled pieces. Not fun if you over think it. Here’s how I did it. Cut the 2×4 slightly longer than the angle it needs to fill. Hold it or clamp it in place and draw a line tracing the cut. It isn’t technical, and I’m sure there is a much more skilled way, but this is the way I did it because I can’t figure out how to use the angle finder that I have hanging on the wall.
Then you just have to try a few different angles by lining your miter saw blade up with the line you drew. Mine happen to be 22.5 degrees for the sides and 31 degrees for the back. But please check yours carefully. I would hate to see you waste time, money and energy making incorrect cuts.
I kept the pocket holes for these pieces on the inside for the sides and toward the back (essentially against the wall) for the back.
I am so proud of this piece. I can’t wait to get into my next build, I think that will be a dining room table, but I’m not sure. (Update: It was, so go check it out)
Don’t you just want to sit and have coffee?
Seriously you guys, I want you to ask me your questions. This post took me sooooooo long to write because every time I tried, it made my head hurt. So I would love to hear anything you are wondering about.