For a rustic look, we’ve used cedar to build our table, but you can use any lumber you prefer. For the legs, replace the 4×4 dimensional cedar with 3×3 oak or poplar. The finished dimensions of the table are 22 3/4″ tall x 33″ x 26″ deep.
This project uses pocket-hole joinery in a couple of steps. If you’re not familiar with it, take a look at the basics.
Use the diagram as a cutting guide for the wood.
top slats (11) at 3/4 x 2 x 21
top long frame (2) at 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 26
top short frame (2) at 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 22
legs (4) at 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 23-7/16
side rails (2) at 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 17-5/16
end rails (2) at 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 16
semicircles (2) at 3/4 x 2 x 11-5/16
Design the Top and Stain
Cut the top slats slightly longer (1/2″ or so) 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.
Mark the faces of the boards you will be positioning up, then apply stain to that face only. Be sure to place painter’s tape on the edges and ends to help prevent the stain from leaking onto those areas of the boards.
Clamp Top Pieces Together
Apply painter’s tape to one face of each of the 2×2 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.
Continue to tighten the clamps on the top slats and cauls, making any adjustments as needed. Allow the glue to set.
Remove the clamps, then scrape and/or sand off the glue from the joints. Cut the final top assembly to length using a table saw.
Build the Frame for the Top
Use the layouts in Images 1 and 2 (below) as guides for drilling pocket holes in the top short frame and top long frame.
Position the top short frames flush with the ends of the top slats and attach using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket-hole screws.
Position the top long frames flush with the ends of the top short frames and attach using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket-hole screws as shown in Image 3.
Create the Leg Assemblies
Use the layout in Image 1 as a guide for cutting the legs to shape. Rip the 4×4 to 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ first. If you’d prefer not to rip the legs to size, use 3x3s.
Cut the 10-degree taper on a table saw using a tapering jig and the 15-degree angles on a miter saw.
Use the layouts in Images 2 and 3 to cut to shape and drill pocket holes in the side rails and end rails.
Use 1x scraps as spacers to position the side rails 3/4 inch from the face of the legs (Images 4 and 5). Apply glue to the ends, position flush with the top of the legs, clamp in place with a right-angle clamp, then attach using 1-1/4″ pocket-hole screws. Create two assemblies.
Assemble the Base
Use the layout in Image 1 as a guide for cutting the semicircles to shape. Use a flexible metal ruler to help trace the arc. Cut them to shape using a jigsaw.
Position the semicircle centered on the bottom edge of the side rails and attach using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket-hole screws (Image 2).
Mark a line 3/4 inch from the outer edge of the leg assemblies. Apply glue to the ends, position flush with the top of the legs and this line, clamp in place with a right-angle clamp, and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket-hole screws (Image 3).
Attach the Top
Place the top assembly upside down, position the base assembly centered on the top assembly. Mark the position of the base on the top.
Apply glue on the marked area, replace the base assembly, and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket-hole screws as shown below.
Stain the remainder of the project as desired and apply one to two coats of polyurethane.