2×4 table with Plans


This is a project my students build every year in my class. There are FREE PLANS posted in the plans section of my site.  This is a 20″ table made from 1 2×4 and 30″ of 1×4 cambia popular.  My colleague (Tim DeFelice) and myself developed this project.  Its purpose was to make the most of limited material but it also teaches how you can machine wood in various ways to build a product.   The original plans included mortises, to streamline the project I replaced the mortises with micro pocket holes.  Mortises are nice however pocket holes allow for assembly with out the use of clamps.  This is needed when you consider there are 100 students and about 15 clamps.  The legs are 20″ and a simple taper cut on the bandsaw.

resawing the skirt

The skirt is resawn from 18″ of 2×4 to make 2 slabs about 3/4″ thick.  The slabs are planed to 5/8″, cut to 8 1/2″ and given pocket holes in each side.  You could substitute 1×4 here but resawning allows you to get everything out of one 2x4x8.

ripping 2x4 for the top pieces for top

Making a checkerboard seems difficult but it is actually very easy.  First you rip a 14″ 2×4 to four 3/4″x 1 1/2″ strips, then rip the cambia to 1 1/2″.  You will have 4 pieces of pine and 4 pieces of cambia.  Edge glue these pieces in an alternating pattern, take great care to get a flat glue up.  Once dry you may need to sand or plane everything flat. We use a tablesaw and a crosscutting sled to crosscut the panel into 8 pieces, we cut 10 to 12 for insurance.  You do not need an elaborate sled to cut these pieces just something that will give you consistent results.  Flip every other strip to create a checkerboard pattern, then glue taking great take to keep thing flat.

first glue up crosscut sled IMG_4122   second glue up


We used a laser engraver to make a makers mark. IMG_4135

Next the assembly is fairly easy and quick with pocket hole screws. Use a clamp to prevent the pieces from slipping out of place when you drive screws.

legs and skirt assemble with pocket screws


The top is secured with screws and plugs.

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