|Project by Boxguy||posted 07-01-2012 01:16 AM||2327 views||5 times favorited||20 comments|
Pictured: A set of legs designed to hold a water heater pan for my grandson to play in with his floating toys. When he is not using it, I turn the pan over and use it as a side table on the porch. This table is 18” tall and 27” across. The tops of the legs sit 3” proud of the cross members. You can see that this project is grandson approved, and that is enough to warm any Grandpa’s heart.
Apology: For those of you looking at this on the “box” site, I know this is not a box; however, I wanted to demonstrate that the same techniques I developed to build boxes can be applied to other projects. I also wanted to show the followers of this site that sometimes…just sometimes…Boxguy builds something that is not a box.
The Top: The cross members are basically half lapped 2×4s. I added a dado groove 3/4 of an inch deep to the underside to accept the egg crate slotted cross members made of 3/4” plywood that is 6” wide. (same technique used to make dividers inside a box) Allow the plywood to extend 3/4” past the end of your crossing 2×4 as it will serve as a tendon to fit into the legs. (I use this technique to make some boxes as well.) You will also need to notch the bottom of one of the plywood pieces to accept the crossing 2×4 that is only grooved lengthwise.
The Legs: Rather than mortise the ends of the plywood into the legs…I cheated. If you look closely you can see the filler in the dado slot. I made the same size slot the full length of the legs as I made in the crossing top pieces. (Exactly the same set up for both legs and top, so cut them both while you have the dado blade set up) Now make some filler pieces that are as wide as your leg slots and a little proud of the slot. (You can use a scrap of the plywood, but I didn’t.) With the slot cut, I glued in a 3” piece of the filler at the top of each leg being careful to align the 3” piece and the top of the leg. Using a scrap of the crossing plywood as a spacer, fit and glue a filler in the groove under the spacer. Remove the spacer and clean out any excess glue so you don’t accidentally glue in your spacer. When the glue dries, plane the filler flush with the leg. This makes your mortise. Now glue in the plywood tendon from the top. I added two screws through the legs and into the ends of the cross pieces to hold it together while the glue dried. (See picture #6)
On this project I used waterproof glue and didn’t add a 2×4 to the bottom of the plywood as it would just hold water. But adding this would greatly strengthen the legs. It would work like a wooden I-beam. You can route, sand, and taper the legs to your taste in design.
Critique: Although this was a frivolous project, this same building technique could be used to produce fine furniture. Made of quality wood this same design could support a glass table top and could also be applied to make chairs with two of the verticals extended and slanted for the back. I stacked over 300 pounds in the center of this table, and it didn’t budge.
Thanks: As always thanks for looking and a special thanks to those of you who take time to make comments and suggestions. More than you know, I appreciate your support in making this a “Top Three.” Support like this helps keep me going on projects and boxes.
-- Big Al in IN