Sofa Table Plans for Newbie - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-05-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Sofa Table Plans for Newbie

Hey guys,

Just picked up my new table saw today and am excited to get to work on my first project.

I am going to make a sofa table and was wondering what you guys thought of these plans? Here are my wood pieces:

4 - 2x8x8
2 - 2x4x8

Here are the plans:

1) Cut 3 of the planks down to 6' and then take 1/2" off each side of the planks to square them up.
2) Glue the 3 planks together and set them with clamps
3) Cut bakers ends and screw and glue them to the table top
4) Add support underneath the table top with 4 cross boards and 2 length boards.
5) Cut the legs down to 34" so my table is 36" high and noth them so they will fit firmly into the under support.
6) Taper the legs so they have some design to them and are not just a 2x4 piece of wood.
7) Plane the table top and the legs and sand them once finished.
8) Clean table and then stain.

I know that is quick and a rough outline, but I do have some questions.

1) How wide should my bakers ends be?
2) How tall should I cut my support pieces for underneath the table?
3) Whats the best way to attach the support structure to the top that is simple but does not have screws down from the top?
4) I plan on notching the legs so they fit better to the support system. Do I have to corner notch them or can I just notch them to one support piece?
5) I want a dark stain and have seen some people wax the top of their tables. What is the best approach to staining this table?

Thanks to any and all feedback!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-05-2011, 10:44 PM
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Seems like a reasonable plan to me. I'm not quite sure I know what you mean about the "support structure" but it sounds more than sufficient. I'd expect you wouldn't even need that much. Consider something to prevent racking on the legs too...

As for staining, I just wipe it on (generally minwax because I'm cheap and it works for me) to the color I like and then seal with wax or poly.


I will say this... If you buy your lumber from a big box like Lowes or Home Depot, make sure you give it time to move before you build your table. I have never bought a piece of lumber from them that didn't shift a little bit at least.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-06-2011, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Frank, by support structure I mean something on the bottom of the table top to keep the top together besides just the glue.

Basically, if you imagine the table top length ways from left to right, on the bottom side of the table there are 4 cross pieces of wood and two that run the length of the table. It basically makes a big rectangle on the bottom side with two cross pieces inside the rectangle.

And what exactly do you mean by letting the wood "move?" Right now, everything I purchased is laying flat on the concrete floor of my shop.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-06-2011, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtred9 View Post

Here are the plans:

1) Cut 3 of the planks down to 6' and then take 1/2" off each side of the planks to square them up.
2) Glue the 3 planks together and set them with clamps
3) Cut bakers ends and screw and glue them to the table top
4) Add support underneath the table top with 4 cross boards and 2 length boards.
5) Cut the legs down to 34" so my table is 36" high and noth them so they will fit firmly into the under support.
6) Taper the legs so they have some design to them and are not just a 2x4 piece of wood.
7) Plane the table top and the legs and sand them once finished.
8) Clean table and then stain.

I know that is quick and a rough outline, but I do have some questions.

1) How wide should my bakers ends be?
2) How tall should I cut my support pieces for underneath the table?
3) Whats the best way to attach the support structure to the top that is simple but does not have screws down from the top?
4) I plan on notching the legs so they fit better to the support system. Do I have to corner notch them or can I just notch them to one support piece?
5) I want a dark stain and have seen some people wax the top of their tables. What is the best approach to staining this table?

Thanks to any and all feedback!!
By "bakers ends" are you meaning "breadboard ends"? Your under support cannot be screwed to the underside of the top without allowing the top to expand and contract. This is done by slotting the holes in the under support 90 degrees to the grain direction. Wood moves (expands and contracts) across grain. It can move lengthwise but it's negligable.

For staining, I would just use a stain and no wax. There are different types of stain, and different types of topcoats. You are planning for a 36" overall height, is this like a console table or one behind a sofa?








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post #5 of 7 Old 11-06-2011, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the dumb questions, but what do you mean by slotting the holes underneath the table? Why can I not screw the support structure to the table top?

And this table is going to be 21"x6'x36" and will go along a wall in our living room. Candle holder and what not will sit on it. Not sure what you call that exactly.

Yes, can you tell I'm a newbie?!?!

;-)
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-06-2011, 09:22 PM
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Dirtred, that sounds basically like what I was envisioning from you original statement about the "support structure. It will work just fine. It wouldn't be my preferred method but it will work. For what it's worth, if you have clean joints where the boards mate the glue joint will be stronger than the wood, especially if you're using pine 2x6 boards. It may bow at that length though, so some support structure will be good.

When cabinetman says "slotted" he means you can't just drill a hole that fits your screw size. If you do, the wood "movement" will end up cracking your table. When wood acclimatizes it expands and contracts (the movement) with heat and moisture. If you fix the table top to the support without allowing for the movement of the wood in the top, the top will crack. You can accommodate the movement by making the screw holes "slotted", IE oblong holes that then use some sort of bolt to attach to the top.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmmmm. I think I am understanding, but somewhat confused now on how to attach the table top to the support structure without having anything showing from the top.

Any suggestions?
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