Lego Table #6: Oh Yeah, I Was Building a Lego Table

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Blog entry by Eric posted 01-27-2009 11:43 AM 1713 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Taking Shape Part 6 of Lego Table series Part 7: Making Our Mark(s) »

My wife sent me into the shop yesterday, saying, “It’s been forever since your last post, you need some shop time!” Yes, ma’am.

My shop was still a mess, because the last time I had shop time I expected to get right back to it the next day…or the next week…and you know how it goes. So it took me a little bit to get my bearings and find the motivation to pick up the tools and pick up where I left off.

The tricky thing with what I did yesterday was drilling the screw holes for the legs. It wouldn’t be so tricky if I just countersunk bolts in from the outside and plugged the holes with dowels. I wanted to put the screws in from the back, so they are totally unseen and with no plugs.

Maybe there’s an easier way to do this. I’m all ears. But what I had to do was assemble the dovetailed aprons, mark the leg holes (already drilled) onto the aprons, and then take it all apart and drill the holes into the aprons (going in about 1/2”). It mostly went well, but there was one leg that was way off base (about 1/8”, which you know is a lot!). Because of that, the dovetail wouldn’t join properly, so I had to either a) drill new holes or b) plane about 1/8” off the edge of the board. Since I’m less incompetent with my bit brace than I am with the hand plane, I just went with new holes.

So here’s a pic of what I was left with yesterday (dry fit only). The back left is the one missing a leg component because of my screwup. Also you might notice the leg components on the right long apron look funky. I had originally intended to have semicircles cut into the leg bottoms (made with an expansive bit drilling into two leg bottoms), but it was so very difficult to do, and my clamps couldn’t hold the boards no matter how tight, that I just bagged it and inverted those two parts. Anyway, here’s yesterday’s pic:

Can you tell I’m hurting for assembly space?

Today was a much better day. I fixed the off-kilter leg component, and then I glued all the leg components on to their respective apron (so there are two components on each apron which will be glued together when assembled). I took a couple hours off for lunch and then came back to it and glued the whole thing together – the dovetails, the leg components to each other, and the wedged tenons for the center cross piece (which look like they turned out pretty well).

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Next steps: glue the plywood table base down onto the cross piece and legs, cut a 6”(ish) notch in the lip of one of the short aprons for easy sweeping of the legos off the table, glue some blocks up under the plywood for a little more support, and then do some final sanding/planing before finishing! Hmm, that seems like a lot now.

-- Eric at

4 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#1 posted 01-27-2009 04:35 PM

nice! , I need your wife to talk to my wife… I can use some shoptime myself :)

here’s how I would do it:

1. predrilll the legs components to have the screw fit freely/tightly through them
2. assemble the apron
3. position the legs in their proper position on the apron and clamp them to the apron, predrill with a pilot bit (smaller than the leg holes) through the legs pieces into the apron, and screw them in

or did I miss something?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3671 days

#2 posted 01-27-2009 11:13 PM

Looks nice!

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3894 days

#3 posted 01-28-2009 12:43 AM

Getting there Eric. Assembly room can include kitchen counters——errr wait – you’re married—- don’t do the counter thing. :-)

Looking forward to your progress.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3781 days

#4 posted 01-28-2009 04:20 AM

Thanks guys! PurpLev, I tried sending this reply yesterday but it wouldn’t go through, so here it is:

Yeah, you did miss a couple things (but it wasn’t your fault). I forgot to mention that I’m using a bit brace, so I can’t do any of the drilling while the entire thing is assembled. Even with an electric drill, I’m not sure that I could have done the holes closest to the corners, but if I’d already done the outer one, then alignment would’ve been a non-issue. So yeah, it was the bit brace that was the culprit.

Also, the leg pieces on the short aprons are actually a touch thicker than those on the long aprons, so I used two different sized screws. I felt that the screws which I used on the long aprons would be too short for use on the short ones. So I ended up using a type of bolt on the thicker leg pieces, and the fit is really nice – no nut necessary for sure. So all that’s to say that’s why I needed to drill holes at least in the short aprons, since it’s just a squared-off bolt going into the wood.

I suppose I didn’t have to pre-drill holes in the long aprons, since standard screws were going in there. But I don’t have a whole lot of experience with it. I think I heard somewhere that it provides a stronger joint/fastening if you pre-drill (as long as the hole is the diameter of the shaft of the screw, not including the threads).

-- Eric at

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