‘C' The Table?
The Home Handyman|July/August 2020
I decided that I would organise a side table to have my coffee and cake, cell phone and glass of wine handy instead of balancing a tray on my lap whilst checking out the sport news on TV. After thinking about various side table options, the easiest was to make a C-table. Plus, I could easily do the job with a minimum of materials and hand plus a few power tools.

Tools and materials

Timber: 3 x 1.8m x 44 x 22 Pine Par (see Fig 1. for the cutting list)

Cordless drill

Various wood drills

Cordless screwdriver

Tape measure

Steel rule

Handsaw (fine toothed)

Adjustable square

Depth marking gauge

12 and 18mm chisels

Wood rasp, medium cut

Rubber mallet

Wood clamps (4)

Sander

120 and 220 grit sandpaper

Wood filler

Masking tape

Wood glue

Wood stain

Wood sealer

4 x 40 x 4mm cut screws

8 x 35 x 3mm cut screws

Step-by-step guide

Step 1: Measure on your settee/armchair the gap between the bottom and the floor; the clearance needed between the bottom of the settee/armchair and the arms. In my instance, I needed 20mm gap at the bottom with a little over 600mm for the side arms. The tabletop doesn’t need to be very big, just enough for a mug or a beer glass, a small plate and, of course, your phone or TV remote. I had a piece of Formica topped shelving 250 x 480mm. The table frame is made up of standard pine par 1.8m x 22 x 44 or 1.8m x 45 x 20. Because I had the 22mm format, I had to get a metre of it shaved down to 20mm.

Depending upon your measurements (see Fig. 1) cut the timber to the lengths you need. Remember the old adage of measuring twice before cutting, mark out the cut line with an adjustable square, so that if you’re using a hand saw/ back saw you don’t cut at an angle which is not a right angle and you remember to allow for the thickness of the saw cut. Or, of course, you can get the guy at the timber shop to cut everything to length on the table saw.

Measure the gap at the base, the height of the arm.

Step 2: Mark out and cut the profile for the eight pieces used to support the top and those used for the feet. For the curves a template can be made from cardboard trimmed to shape. Mark the profile on each piece with a sharp pencil. I used a hand saw to cut the corners off and then a wood rasp. You could use a jigsaw to do the job. To complete the shaping, clamp a set of top support pieces/foot pieces together and then used the rasp/120 grit sandpaper to finish until the shape is the same profile.

We need to drill and counter-bore the top supports to be able to attach the tabletop. Drill the 4mm holes first. If you’ve got one, an attachment which keeps the drill at 90° is handy; if not, ‘eyeball’ the power drill to keep it ‘square’ as you drill. The counterbore with an 8mm drill is easy to do if you use a ‘drill-stop’ as a depth setting. Otherwise, wrap a piece of masking tape around the drill shaft to act as a visual guide.

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