Today I’m building the base for a new kitchen table. For next week, I’ll be building the table top and showing the finished product.
I picked up some redwood at a local lumber yard for a great price.
I cut this 4×4 into a couple equal sections
I would be using a lap joint so I marked out the sections I would need to notch out. I also scribed a line to remove the middle sections. For a decorative look, I marked where I would round the ends as well.
My table saw blade can’t cut the entire 4×4 in one pass. I lowered the blade just above half way to make two passes.
To make the necessary plunge cuts, I removed the riving knife and replaced the insert.
I lined up the cut and very carefully plunged down on one side, slowly cutting, and then pulling out.
I made the cross cuts using the table saw sled by slowly approaching the line.
I used a hand saw to finish the rounded, uncut sections left by the table saw blade.
Using a hand plane and chisel, I cleaned up the bases and then sanded them smooth.
I still don’t own a band saw so I had to use the jig-saw to make these small rounded cuts. It went horribly, but I was able to clean them all up on the drill-press with a drum sander.
I rough-cut the outside corners and made them smooth on the belt sander.
With a little sanding, they turned out pretty good.
To make the lap joints, I replaced the normal table saw blade with my dado stack.
I make several passes with the stack and creep up on the line. I don’t want to go past it. Once I’m at the correct depth, I can notch out the rest of the wood between the lines. I leave the lines for now, and can fine tune them later for a perfect fit.
I repeat the same process with the other foot.
Now you can see the two pieces come together as one.
Using an inch and a half forstner bit, I hog out the majority of the material right in the center of the lap joints on each foot. I drill down most of the way, but finish the cut from the other side to minimize blow-out.
I use a razor knife to establish the mortise line. This will lessen the risk of chipping out farther than I want. With a small chisel I carefully remove the top section, and then pound out the rest.
These are how the two mortises line up together.
I cut another piece of 4×4 for the main post and mark out a tenon that will fit down inside the mortises I just cut.
I mark out the length of the tenon and then, just like before, creep up on the line so as not to go past it. This same process can be done with just a regular table saw blade, it would just take quite a few more passes.
Now I can trim it down to its final length.
I put the post in the bench vise and cut the tenon right in half starting with a coping saw and then with a larger hand saw.
I also quickly cut a small wedge.
I apply a generous amount of glue to the tenon and add the two foot sections. Once in place, I hammer the wedge down into the tenon, locking everything in place.
I cut two equal lengths of 1×4 and then miter the edges to 45 degrees.
At the table saw I rip both edges just to clean them up.
Just like the first set of lap joints, I use the dado stack to first creep up on the line and then remove material from one line to the other.
Once cut, the joint comes together nicely.
I apply glue to the top of the post and attach the two sections of the top support with brad nails.
This is the main structure of the base.
To add a little style, I use some 2×2 redwood and cut 8 pieces with 45 degree edges on the miter saw.
I sand them smooth and begin attaching them to the base with glue and brad nails.
I used a combination square to layout the pieces before attaching them permanently.
The center of the post gets a little detail using the same 2×2 redwood. I will be painting this so I use some joint compound to cover up any imperfections.
I also sand the bottom of the post where the wedge is holding the tenon in place.
Using some dark walnut stain, I apply a coat to all the edges of the base. It will get a white paint job, but sanded back for a worn look.
I used a few cans of white spray paint as it would be much easier to apply than with a brush.
Once the paint was dry, I used some sand paper to expose the dark walnut color from all the edges.
I wet an old shop rag and cleaned up the entire piece.
The final step was to apply several coats of spray polyurethane
My Project Tools