Stage 1. Clue up two "A" stretchers and two pairs of legs. To avoid marring the finish, you can make padded clamping blocks by gluing cardboard to hardwood scraps.
Second, make a 1-in. by 12-in. spacer block to set between the stop and the workpiece (or between the fence and the workpiece in the case of the legs) to space holes exactly 1 in. apart. After drilling dowel holes, drill and counterbore holes in the two MA" stretchers for the 2-in. confirmât screws (available from The Woodworkers' Store, 800-279-4441) that hold down the tablctops.
Before finishing, I sand all the pieces, chccking frequently to make sure the joints remain snug. Then I dry fit the
Stretcher-leg joint. Two dowel pins, spaced 1 in. apart, strengthen the joint and help align the stretchers and legs during assembly.
two sets of MAW and "B" stretchers together at the half-lap joints and drill a '/4-in.-diameter hole 1 V4 in. deep in each set. (See Fig. 2.)
I finish all the individual pieces with three coats of Waterlox, a water-resistant oil-varnish blend, before assembling the table. I've found prefinishing to be easier and cleaner, because an assembled table has narrow or unreachable spaces and inside corners where the finish tends to build up. A water-resistant finish is important if you plan to display plants (and water them) on the stand.
The trick is to make sure rhc finish is not applied to any of the glue surfaces. I do that by covering those areas with blue painter's tape, available at paint-supply stores.
This is the exciting part: The table finally takes shape and you get to appreciate the fruits of your meticulous labor. Assembly of this plant stand must be approached methodically, in three stages.
Stage one. Grab two "A" stretchers and two legs, one leg with dowel holes on the right and another with holes on the left. Insert a V^-in. dowel, 1 in. long, into each stretcher hole. Apply glue into the dowel holes of each leg and all mating surfaces—sparingly, to avoid squeeze-out. Sandwich the stretchers between the legs so the dowel ends are captured by the holes in the legs. (See photo, above left.)
Then take another left and right leg, add dowels and glue, and mount them onto the opposite ends of the stretchers. Clamp the legs together at each joint.
Stage two. Glue the MB" stretchers into the center half-lap joint of the "A" stretchers. (Sec photo, above right.) Then glue and clamp the remaining legs to the MB" stretchers, as you did in stage one. You'll find it easiest to do this with the stand in the upright position.
Next, glue a V^-in. dowel into each center half-lap joint. Leave each dowel V4 in. proud to engage the center hole of the circular tops.
Stage three. After the glue dries, screw the tops to the "A" stretchers from underneath, using the confirmat screws mentioned earlier. 15c sure to drill accurate pilot holes for the screws, to avoid splitting the tops. A
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