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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O’Connor build a historic-looking Shaker table. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)
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Shopping list for How to Build a Shaker Table:
- 1×4 maple, for tabletop. Get four 6-footers.
- Shaker candle stand base kit, for legs and table base
- Piece of plywood, used for jig
- Wood glue, to glue boards together for tabletop
- Antique wood finish
Tools for How to Build a Shaker Table:
- Router, to cut tabletop
- Straight bit, for router
- Roundover bit, for router
- Power sander, to smooth tabletop
- Miter saw, to cut maple to length
- Clamps, to keep wood together during drying process
- Tape measure
- Hammer, to create pilot hole
- Power drill, to drill in screw for jig
- Mallet, for assembly
Steps for How to Build a Shaker Table:
1. Measure and cut seven 1×4 pieces of maple to 2-foot length.
2. Put wood glue on the side of each piece and glue them together.
3. Clamp the pieces together, put the assembly on raised blocks and wait several hours for the glue to dry.
4. Once the board assembly is dry, sand it down flat using the sander.
5. Find center of the board assembly by measuring both sides and put a small nail hole in the center.
6. The tabletop should be 22 inches around with an 11-inch radius. Make a piece of plywood into a jig by placing a screw 11 inches from a hole made by the router bit.
7. Line up the screw in the jig to the hole made in the center of the board and drill it in securely, but loose enough so the jig is able to spin around the board.
8. Use the straight bit in the router and fit it into the template hole in the jig.
9. Start the router and spin the jig around the board. Make three slow passes around the board to avoid any splintering.
10. Smooth over the edges of the tabletop with the router using the roundover bit.
11. Sand down the tabletop, base, and legs.
12. Finish all the pieces using an antique oil and rag. Put on several coats. Be sure to rinse all the rags in a bucket of water to avoid spontaneous combustion.
13. Screw the wooden bracket from the kit to the underside of the tabletop. Be sure to place the wooden bracket perpendicular to the wood grain to prevent it from curving.
14. Attach the legs to the base easily by inserting the flange screws into slots on the legs and hammering them in.
15. Cover the dowel of the leg base with wood glue and attach it to the underside of the tabletop.
16. Tap it down with a mallet to secure.
Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House:
15 Have a licensed electrician make the final wire connections in the garage and at the main electrical panel.