Introduction

This project uses pocket-hole joinery. If you're not familiar with it, take a look at the basics.

Step 1

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Project Cut List

For the end rails – four pieces of poplar at 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 11-1/2
For the stiles – two pieces of oak at - 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 19"
For the legs – four pieces of poplar at 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 30"
For the side rails – two pieces of poplar at 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 35-1/2"
For the middle rail – one piece of poplar at 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 11-1/2"
For the stretcher – one piece of oak at 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 35-1/2"
For the top slats – three pieces of oak at 3/4" x 5-1/2" x 41-1/2"

Step 2

Make the Side Pieces

Use the guide for drilling pocket holes in the end rails (image 1). On two of the end rails do not drill the pocket holes positioned 3 inches from the end. Paint the end rails (except for the ends of the parts) and allow to dry.

Drill two pocket holes on each end of the stiles. Stain the stiles (except for the ends of the parts) and allow to dry. We used Zinsser Bullseye Tuscan.

Position the stiles centered on the end rails (image 2), secure in place with a face clamp, and attach using glue and 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws. Be sure to position the end rails with the pocket holes 3 inches from the end so that the holes point up.

Apply a small amount of glue in the pocket holes on the stiles and insert the oak pocket hole plugs (image 3). Wipe off any excess glue with mineral spirits, sand the plugs flush, and re-apply stain as needed. Allow to dry.

Paint the legs (except for the ends) and allow to dry. We used Behr Raging Sea.

Position the legs flush with the end of the end rail/stile assemblies that have the pocket holes drilled 3 inches from the end (image 4). Use a 3/4-inch spacer (such as a scrap piece of 1 x stock) to support the end rail/stile assemblies when attaching them to the legs using glue and 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws.

Step 3

Create the Base & Connect the Sides

Use the guide for drilling pocket holes in the side rails (image 1). Paint the side rails (except for the ends) and allow to dry.

Drill two pocket holes on each end of the stretcher. Stain (except for the ends) and allow to dry.

Position the side rails flush with the top end of the end assemblies, with the pocket holes drilling perpendicular to the long side pointed toward the top of the assemblies. Clamp in place with a pocket hole right angle clamp and attach using glue and 1 1/4-inch pocket hole screws (image 2). Place a white index card, for example between the face of the clamp and the leg to limit any marring.

Use the layout for the end rails to create the middle rail, including the pocket holes drilled 3 inches from the end. Paint (except for the ends) and allow to dry.

Position the middle rail centered on the side rails (with the perpendicular pocket holes pointed toward the top of the assembly just like the top end rails) and attach using glue and 1 1/4-inch pocket hole screws.

Position the stretcher centered and flush with the bottom edge of the bottom end rails and attach using glue and 1 1/4-inch pocket hole screws (image 3).

Step 4

Build the Top

Cut the top slats slightly longer (1/2-inch or so) longer than the length shown in the cut list.

Look at the end grain of each of the boards. You'll notice the grain pattern may have a curve, either up (looks like a smile) or down (looks like a frown). Position these so that the end grain patterns alternate between the smile (up curve) and a frown (down curve). Don't position two frowns or two smiles adjacent. This helps limit any buckling or curvature when gluing up the top. So will another step mentioned later.

Apply painter's tape to one face of each of the 2x2 oak squares. You will use these oak squares as cauls when clamping the top slats.

Position three or more bar clamps open on a level work surface and position the top slats on the clamps in the pattern you determined and with an inch or so between the parts. Apply glue to the joining edges, butt the parts together with the ends flush and clamp lightly in place.

Position the cauls, tape side against the top slats and butted against the bar clamps, and clamp lightly in place (image 1).

Continue to tighten the clamps on the top slats and cauls, making any adjustments as needed. Allow the glue to set.

Remove the clamps, scrape and/or sand off the glue from the joints. Cut the final top assembly to length using a table saw or circular saw. Apply a pre-stain conditioner to the top assembly, especially the ends, per the manufacturer's directions.

Apply stain to all faces, ends, and edges of the top (image 2).

Step 5

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Put it All Together

Position the top, best side down, on your work surface.

Position the base assembly centered on the top and attach to the top using 1 1/4-inch pocket hole screws (no glue). Drive the screws through the end rails, side rails and middle rail.

Step 6

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Add Finishing Touches

Apply a small amount of glue in the pocket holes on the bottom end rails and insert the paintable pocket hole plugs. Wipe off any excess glue, sand the plugs flush, and touch up the paint as needed. Allow to dry.

Apply polyurethane per the manufacturer's directions to the stained parts of the projects.

Apply felt furniture pads or furniture pads to the bottom of the legs.