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Some furniture pieces are timeless and such is the case with these little splayed leg side tables. They are still as popular today as they were decades ago and little has changed. They seem to fit many decors with their tapered legs and small size, they can easily fit in a blank corner, or become a stand or showcase for artworks, plants or pictures, and they are not difficult to build despite their somewhat complicated look with the splayed legs.
Like all small tables, these want to at a comfortable "sitting height" which puts them around the 24 to 25 inch height so they are comfortable to use for anyone sitting down, which is another reason they are often called side tables, as in a table beside a chair or sofa. Most of what I have seen have been a solid color for whatever the wood they were build with, but in my case I decided to make something a bit more showy by making the legs and the top of different colors.
I stared off with the legs that were 25 inches long and 1.25 inches square. I set these up on my tapering jig on my table saw so that the blade would leave about a 3/4 ionch square at the bottom and disengage from the top at of the leg about 6 inches from the top. then carried on a cut all 4 legs with this taper.
The second componet was the apron, which I used 3/4" thick material that was 4 inches wide. The side componters I cut off square to begin with at 7 inches and the front and back parts were also cut cut square but at 10 inches. Once I had the square components, I gang cut them with a 4 degree offset, this way I was sure that both the sides and fronts would have equal angles and each side would be exactly the same length. There are of course other ways of cutting these components but I like this method so I stick with it.
The last component was the top which I cut at 12 inches by 20 inches and used 3/4 inch thick material for this. For me, attaching the legs was easy with my Dowelmax doweling jig that I use frequently because it is dead accurate and makes a super strong joint. I always like to have some sort of a "reveal" when making furniture like this, it just looks nicer, so I used a 1/4" offset on the legs and of course nothing on the apron components and this gave me a very nice look.
One of the things I did differently this time in attaching the apron components to the legs was to use dowels that I cut at 45 degrees at the insert end. This meant that both dowels from each side of the leg butted up nicely against one another to make a firm connection and allowed for the maximum dowel penetration. When glued, these dowels were very strong, and considering I had three in each side I had now quams about the strength of the little table. The nice part about the assembly with this table was that I took my time and glued and seated each dowel in the legs first. I liked this methodology as it meant I did not have to rush to put all the parts together before the glue started to firm up on me. Attaching the apron parts came last and in no time the table legs assembly was done.
The top I selected was 3/4 inch thick material and when I tried it on the top just to see what it looke like it was clearly too thick and heavy looking for such a small table. I used my Bevel Cutting Jig to trim the sides of the top, leaving about 1/2" width and this make a huge difference to the look of the table by making it appear less bulky.
The finish I used was a combination of water bourne dye for the legs and apron and 3 top coats of Osmo. The dye I used is something I mixed myself as I could not find the color I liked so I used an amber and walnut dye, mixing them together and testing each time until I had a color I liked. Easy when they are water based. And for those new viewers who ask about Osmo, and where it is available, in Europe it is readily available in many places but in Canada and the US it is harder to find. For Canadians interested in the product, one place to check out is http://www.produitsEco-Reno.com in the US, Osmo is available from http://www.amazon.com
The only heads-up I want people to be aware of with this table, is make sure you know where it is going to go when it is finished as the one I made was claimed by three people even before it was finished ... I have a hunch I will need to make more in the near future, but who wouldn't love this lovely little side table.
Copyright Colin Knecht