I had a customer who wanted some tables to go with his Adirondack chairs and this was the result! This is kind of a classic design, but I modified the table to pair up with my popular Adirondack chair design with classy overhangs and nice rounded corners. These are built the same as my chairs – with clear grain western red cedar, stainless steel screws, and a spar urethane finish.
– 1×8, 7′ long – 1/2″ dowel, 1′-6″ long
– (28) screws, stainless if exterior use
– Finish, spar urethane recommended for exterior use
Tools (Not all of these are required, but this is what I used for the build)
– A Jackman (optional)
– Tape measure: http://amzn.to/2uTi2e8
– Miter saw: http://amzn.to/2j614UM
– Table saw: http://amzn.to/2j4bvVU
– Compass: http://amzn.to/2moOMIb
– Disk sander: https://www.jackmanworks.com/giant-16-disk-sander…
– Bandsaw: http://amzn.to/2j4auNu
– Center punch: http://amzn.to/2ge4p4j
– Drill press: http://amzn.to/2jgpN57
– Forstner bit: http://amzn.to/2khIOYs
– Router table: http://amzn.to/2tnG2T2
– 1/4″ round over bit: http://amzn.to/2j4dCsW
– Random orbital sander: http://amzn.to/2jrwsJC
– Bench top belt sander: http://amzn.to/2jmRXik
– Holey sock rag
– Drill & impact driver: http://amzn.to/2wy5wSZ
– Set up blocks: http://amzn.to/2k4i5io
– Rubber mallet: http://amzn.to/2oJDIrf
– Wooden ruler: http://amzn.to/2gdizmg
It all starts by cutting the materials down to length. I am able to get each table from just a 7′ length of 1×8.
The wood that I was working with is rough sawn to I bring one edge down straight by running in through the table saw. Each piece is short enough to ride along the fence without rocking so I don’t need to worry about jointing them. You just have to make sure that the high points against the fence are on the ends vs in the middle. After that I use the straight edge against the fence and cut all of the pieces down to width.
Now that everything is nice and rectangular it’s time to add some curves! I use my compass to trace out the rounded ends on the legs and the top support pieces. Now is when I also mark out the feet where they will be cut to be flat with the ground.
The cedar is so soft that I just use my disk sander to round the ends down to the line.
For the feet, I cut those down on the belt sander and then sand them flat back on the disk sander again.
The tables are made from 4 sub-assemblies, the legs are in pairs and the top is in 2 pieces. These assemblies are attached to one another using dowels that act as a pivot point that allows the table to collapse. These are centered on the rounded corners so I mark them all out using a center punch.
Then each of these holes is drilled out with a forstner bit where it will later accept the dowel. I drill all the way through until the center pin pokes through and then flip the piece over and drill from the back side. This keeps the bit from tearing out on the back side of the cut.
The last part of shaping the pieces is rounding over the corners. I use a 1/4″ round over bit to add a bit of a satisfying curve to these parts so they look less blocky.
Last part before finish, but definitely the best is sanding! I sand through the grits using a random orbital sander until all sides of the pieces are smooth.
I actually ended up using the bed of my lathe for a finishing table by putting a piece of cardboard on top with a couple of stretcher pieces for the pieces to sit on. This first coat of finish is applied prior to assembly to make sure that all 6 sides have finish since some will be covered once they are assembled. I apply an exterior grade spar urethane with my Sock Rag (patent pending).
This is all of the pieces it takes for a pair of tables (minus the dowels).
Using a countersink, I predrill the top slats to make sure those holes stay clean. It also assists in pulling the slats down tight to the support pieces.
Then it’s just a matter of putting all the pieces together. Each top assembly is build by screwing together the 3 top slats into the top support piece. The center slat is half the width so when the table is set up it looks like 5 identical slats on top. The red blocks are just setup blocks to hold the width of the gap even between the pieces.
The leg assembly is done similarly but there is just one slat here. This is predrilled and screwed into place for each pair of legs.
The pairs of legs are offset from the side of the table with one 3/4″ further in from the other so they nest inside of each other. The two assemblies are held together with a short length of dowel in each pair of legs.
Last, the long dowel is installed through the inner leg on one side, into the top support and then through the top support and inner leg on the other side. This long handle not only holds it together but also acts as a handle to carry it while it’s broken down.
Next, a couple of short dowels are used again to hold one of the top assemblies to the outer legs.