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    Build a Craftsman Side Table

    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    My Uncle Bob was one of those classic uncles that would pull nickels out of your ear and tickle you until milk came out your nose. He worked most of his life as a butcher—and I suspect his daily use of a band saw for cutting pork chops naturally inclined him to use the same tool for crafting furniture. This piece was inspired by a table Uncle Bob made 30 years ago; one that still serves as a side table next to my reading chair in the den.

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    How to Make

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    You don’t need a band saw to create this table. The round top and round lower shelf are precut discs purchased at a home center. Glue and screw the leg braces to the large top disc so the 5-degree cuts on the ends are angling outward. Cut 3/4" x 2-1/2" notches in the lower disc spaced equally around the perimeter. Cut the legs to length, with 5-degree angles on each end, and create the decorative cutouts as shown in the photo below. Use a backer board so the bit doesn’t splinter the wood as it emerges through the backside of the board. You can cut the slot “freehand” or use a straight-cutting jig to help guide your jigsaw. The trim head screws used to secure the discs to the legs are simply drywall screws with a thinner shank and smaller head. Predrill the holes to minimize the chance of splitting the wood. inconvenient

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    1) Glue and nail braces in an “X” shape on the bottom of the tabletop. Note the ends of the braces are angled outward at 5-degrees.

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    2) Divide the smaller disc into 4 equal pie slices, then measure and mark out the notches for the 1x3 legs. Cut the notches with a jigsaw.

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    3) Drill holes in the legs to create the ends of the decorative cutouts. Cut out the slot with a jigsaw guided by a “straight cutting jig.”

    4) Secure the tops of the legs to the large disc using glue and trim head drywall screws. Prop the bottom disc on scrap 2x4s and position the legs in the slots. Make sure the upper and lower disc align and that the table isn’t leaning to one side, then glue and screw the legs to the bottom disc.