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 for your kitchen 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 executing the build, 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.
This is the spot that sparked the need for this table. I found this awesome 50s kitchen stool at a flea market and had to bring it home. Problem is, tables in stores today aren’t made for chairs this size. It is also wicked hard to find a table that also the perfect width and depth for that one awkward spot in your house 🙂 I had no choice but to figure out how to build my own.
The table cost me under $40 in lumber! That is amazing for a custom table that hits all the checkboxes for on your spec list.
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
- Wood Glue
- 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.
Some Words of Wisdom
1. Build from the bottom up
When measuring for placement of the supports, measure from the bottom of the legs. If you measure from the top and your cuts were off your table will wobble.
2. With enough screws even a slightly warped piece of wood will sit right, but try to find straight pieces
You really want the pieces to of lumber you choose to be straight from all angles or you take the chance of throwing the whole project off a bit. A little off is ok but the best in the pile.
3. Do you know how to check for straightness?
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.
4. Imperfections Are Beautiful
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.
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.
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.
Drill the 4- 2×6 tabletop pieces together. It is fun to knock one thing off the To Do List.
Let’s build the legs. You are going to notice that my pictures don’t match my instructions here because I attached the two side legs to the tabletop and then added the back pieces. Don’t do that.
It is so much better to build the entire base and then add the top.
Attach one top side apron and one bottom side apron the legs for each side. (This is where the pictures don’t match)
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.
Attach the back, upper and lower supports to the legs.
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.
Time for those pesky angles.
This is 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 it is fast and simple.
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.
Once the base is complete, attach the top with pocket screws from underneath.
Sand, stain and polyurethane.
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 my dining room table, 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.
If you want this exact look, you may need some 50s stools to go with it.
COMPLETE THE LOOK
And if you are looking for other building instructions, you can find them here:
This bench is one of my most popular builds. And super simple!
This dining table isn’t as overwhelming as it may seem. And it cost me under $200.
Want something a little more advanced? How about this Pottery Barn inspired desk?