First order of business today was to fix those tubafore supports in the table top. It was tedious, but easy. I clamped it to my bench, unscrewed the studs one at a time and using some clamps and a few select words, screwed them back into place to make sure they were flush with the bottom of the poplar frame boards.
With that out of the way and off my mind, I turned to the bottom box (which is really nothing more than a glorified shelf and a place to attach the legs). Like it’s big brother up top, these poplar boards went together quick thanks to the pocket holes and some glue.
I used a chock block this time to keep the boards together while I screw the pocket holes together. It worked fantastically well and I ended up with a frame that was damn near perfect. The one I did last time was really good, but two of the joints were off enough I’ll have to hit them with my hand plane before finishing.
Here’s what I did. To counteract the natural tendency of the wood being joined to slide just a tiny bit as the screws bite into the other piece of wood, I placed a scrap chunk of tubafore on the bench and clamped it down, then butted the boards to that. Look at the picture here:
The scrap wood is on the left. The wood to be jointed is on the right. I’ve got the pocket hole facing the right, so as I screw it down, the vertical board is going to want to drift left. With the block of tubafore there, it can’t move and the joint remains super tight and straight. I just swing the poplar boards around to the next joint and leave the tubafore chock block in place. Super easy.
Within minutes, I’ve got the four corners glued and screwed and here’s the second box!
And here they are posing together so you can see the size difference between the two frames.
The next step was relatively easy but took most of the time I had today in the shop to accomplish. I glued up the legs. This was just a simple process—glue both parts of each leg, clamp and let dry. It just took a while to get all the clamps (I used three or four on each leg, almost every single clamp I own—time to go shopping!) set up. Each leg is made up of two pieces of 3/4” poplar. They’re 3 1/2” wide.
The front legs (non casters) have two pieces, an inner piece that will sit flush against the bottom of the upper box frame, and an outer piece that will extend up the side of the frame and be flush with the top of the frame. It’ll give the table that rustic look that the original inspiriting picture had.
The rear legs (with casters) will have two pieces as well, only they’ll be cut about 2 1/2” shorter to account for the casters and keep everything level. If I’ve done my measuring and math right (and that’s always a question with me) the inner slabs of the legs should keep the upper box frame level while the outer slabs provide the stability. At least, that’s what I tell myself…
Next time I’m going to cut the plywood topper for the base and start preparing the legs and base for finishing.