Saturday, November 19, 2011

Make a 24" Round table top

I decided a while ago that I wanted a round table in the play room. Initially, I wanted it to be about 30", but when I actually measured that out, I realized it was WAY too big. So I pulled up my old Ikea Lack table to gauge what size I'd want, and decided on 24".

When I priced it out at Lowe's, a 24" round tabletop is about $18. I couldn't even find them online at Home Depot. So, since I'm cheap, I sat down with Sketch-Up to figure out how many 1x3s I would need..


























Since I had a 25" scrap, I only needed to buy two 1x3s.

When you're planking boards together, you need to find absolutely straight boards. Sometimes you can get away with a slight bow... But not now. GET. STRAIGHT. BOARDS! If you can find 3 straight furring strips, you can make a 24" round tabletop for under $5.50. And if you have a 25" scrap, you can make it for about $3.50. Here's to savin' a buck! Or about... $15!

Cut list (these are all 1x3s, so I'll just list the length)

2 @ 15"
2 @ 20"
2 @ 23"
2 @ 24 1/2"
2 @ 25"

Make all of your cuts. If you lay them all out, they'll look like this.


And of course you're going to have a pink stethoscope and Hungry Hungry Hippos nearby....

Figure out the middle of each board and mark it. I was too lazy to find my tape measure (which was sitting pretty in front of my miter saw, I'd later found out), so I used a string.



Use a square to mark a line across your boards in the center. You'll be doing this to all of them.You'll see why in a few moments.



When you screw your boards together, you'll line up all of the lines in the center so your circle doesn't start to get wonky. The cuts were made to create as little excess as possible, so you really shouldn't skip this step.



Pre drill pocket holes on every other board (if you're paying attention. if you're not good at paying attention, like me, it won't look very pretty.... luckily this is the bottom :-p). Make sure the screws go into the neighboring board about every 6". Use a lot of glue, and be very careful when assembling to keep the boards flush. This will help with sanding, later.


Ok... So, you know how like.. when you use a protractor, and you change the angle of the pencil and it throws the whole thing off? Well, I know that I can NOT hold a pencil at a consistent angle for my life, so there was pretty much no way I was going to be able to make a perfect circle. So I made a fail-proof jig!

Grab a scrap board that's about 14-15". Nail a brad nail straight through the board. The straighter the nail, the more accurate your jig is gonna be. Measure 12" from the nail and mark. You'll use a 1/4" bit to drill a hole just a TAD wider than a #2 pencil! You might have to wiggle the pencil in, but all you really need is for the lead to get through! 

Firmly press the nail into the line between your two middle boards (count 5 boards in). 



Ok, ok, it was upside down for the picture. I wish I could say it was to show you what I meant, but... it was an accident.


The line you drew is the middle of the boards, lengthwise, and between the 5th boards in is the middle width-wise. That's where you're firmly pressing your brad into (not TOO firmly, you just want it to stay put.)

Put your pencil into the pre-drilled hole and rotate!


Do a pretty darned kick-ass job (if I do say so myself!) with your jig saw to cut it out,


And then sand!!

Then... wait a few days, because you've completely exhausted yourself, to actually do a table.. :-)

Soo... since you've seen this... I'm assuming it's safe to say you'll see another post with a 24" table top soon....

maybe :-)

6 comments:

  1. That homemade circle jig was genius! Loved it

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  2. This is Great! I've been wanting to make round top pub table for my breakfast nook but wanted to avoid using plywood or MDF since I like the look of the boards. Thanks for the great pictures and instructions (and jig tip).

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  3. Thanks Dennis... It's amazing, what inventions come out of necessity!

    And Stacie, I AGREE! The boards composing a tabletop looks so much better than ply/mdf! And it's surprisingly simple (albeit mildly time-consuming) to do!

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  4. Oldschool says very good oldschool job!

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  5. I actually make table tops wit big power tools, but this is freaking kool! Good job.

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