Little Table

Arts & Crafts style and knockdown design team up for a winning combination.

IMAGINE THIS ATTRACTIVE LITTLE TABLE residing next to a comfortable chair, holding important items such as a cup of coffee and a book. Its shaped sides and wedged tenons create lots of visual appeal, it has a useful shelf and the construction makes it sturdy enough to support a baby circus elephant. This table consists of only five pieces and all of the joinery is at 90 \ so you can probably build it in a weekend. Once you've made the templates, any board 9" wide and a little more than 5' long is all you'll need.

This little gem assembles with wedges and tabletop fasteners, so you won't need any glue or clamps, and its knockdown construction means you can finish all the parts separately. You can also pack the finished pieces in a flat box, IKEA-style, and mail a table or two to your kids in college or dear Aunt Mary in Velva ND.

Build it

1. Cut blanks for the sides, rail and shelf (A-C Fig. A and Cutting List, page 70).

2. If you plan to build only one table, it's easy enough to trace the pattern for the sides (Fig. B) onto the blanks, rough-saw and sand to the lines. But if you're building two or more tables you'll save time by making a routing template.

3. To make the template, trace the pattern on a 9" x 17-3/4" blank of 1/4" MDF. Use the bandsaw and a fence to cut the slot at the top. Bandsaw the edge profiles slightly outside the lines and use a Forstner bit and a jigsaw to rough out the mortise slightly inside the lines. Finish the edge profiles by sanding to the line; square the mortise with a file.

4. Use the template to transfer the profile to the side blanks. Cut the slots and rough-saw the profiles just as you cut the template. Use the drill press to rough out the mortises.

5. Attach the template with double-faced tape. Then rout the profiles with a flush-trim bit (Photo 1).Take care not to blow out short grain created by the curves. To rout the mortise, turn off the router and place the bit in the center of the opening. Start the router, engage the bit and advance the workpiece against the bit's rotation. After routing, square the mortise comers with a chisel.

6. Drill 1/8" deep by 3/4" dia. recesses for the "figure 8" style desktop fasteners in each side, offset 1/4" from the inside face and 1" from each end (Photo 2 and Fig. A). Set your drill press table to the vertical position and use a level to position the side. Clamp the side securely before drilling.

7. Lay out the rail's profile (Fig. C) on the blank. (If you want to make a template for the rail, use a 1 /4" MDF blank.) Create the tenons by cutting a 1/2" wide x 2" long notch in each end at the bottom, using the bandsaw and a fence. Use a miter gauge to square the shoulders.

8. Test-fit the rail by sliding it into the slots in the sides. The tops should be flush. Make adjustments if necessary.

9. Rough-saw and sand smooth the arches in the center and on the ends (Photo 3). Use a large sanding drum to smooth the main arch and a smaller drum to smooth the curves on the ends.

10. Use the bandsaw and a fence to

Use a template to rout each side profile after rough-sawing the blank.

Use a template to rout each side profile after rough-sawing the blank.

top end of both sides for the "figure 8" style desktop fasteners.

Use a sanding drum to smooth the rail's arches.


Flush-trim bit

Drill offset top end of both sides for the "figure 8" style desktop fasteners.

Use a sanding drum to smooth the rail's arches.

Create wide tenons on both ends of the shelf by bandsawing notches in the corners.



Fig. A Exploded View

Full-size patterns for the sides flrj and rail are available online at V/

FLGafirs rtSTTEt/a?C.TYP)

Cutting List

Overall Dimensions: 14" L * 9" W * 18-1/2" H

Part Name Qty



A Side || 2


3/4" x 9" x 17-3/4" |

B Rail 1


3/4" x 3" x 12"

C Shelf || 1

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