You know those signs on the highway that say “last exit before toll plaza”? Well this is your last chance folks to turn away and follow the advise of a professional before you travel down my road to the world of the unprofessional and unknown… and no i’m not charging you $0.75 to proceed down a crappy, potholed riddled expressway. Absolutely check out Ana White’s Clara Table that was my jumping off point for this build.
Still here? Well now i’ll show you how to take her design and turn it into the chalkboard top, chalk holding table design you see below that I like to call the Tilly Table 1.0.
- (1) 1″x3″ @ 8ft
- (1) 2″x2″ @ 8ft
- (1) 1″x8″ @ 8ft
- (1) scrap piece of 1″x4″ (need about 30 inches)
- (4) 2″x2″ @ 21.25″ – Table Legs
- (2) 1″x3″ @ 17.5″ – End Aprons
- (2) 1″x3″ @ 27″ – Side Aprons
(Same as Ana’s to this point)
- (2) 1″x8″ @ 31″ – Table Top
- (2) 1″x8″ @ 13″ – Table Top Middle Planks (safe the scrap!)
- (2) 1″x4″ @ 9″ – Chalk Cubby Side Apron
- (2) 1″x4″ @ 5″ – Chalk Cubby End Apron
- (1) 1″x8″ @ TBD – Chalk Cubby Bottom
Tools & Supplies Needed
- Miter Saw
- Power Drill
- Kreg Jig Pocket Hole Jig
- 1-1/4 Pocket Hole Screws
- Wood Glue
- Speed Clamps or Bar Clamps
Step 1 – Make a wooden rectangle shaped doughnut! But don’t eat it. Use your Kreg Jig to cut at least 2 pocket holes into each 13″ edge of 1″ x 8″ that will be attaching to your outer 31″ planks. Because your 1″ x 8″ is really 0.75″ thick, use your 3/4 setting on your Kreg Jig and attach with your 1-1/4 pocket screws. Be sure to put some wood glue in between your planks before attaching. Make sure you assemble on a flat surface. This is also a good spot to use your bar clamps to hold the doughnut together before you screw it together.
Step 2 – It’s all about that bass…err…base. I don’t think I’ve name dropped enough yet, pull out your Kreg Jig again. You’ll keep using the 3/4 setting as well as the 1-1/4 pocket screws for the rest of the project. It’s time to make your side and end aprons look like swiss cheese.
Step 3 – Next attach the aprons to the table legs. Make sure your apron edges are flush to the outside edges of the table legs. If the table is going to go wonky, this is where it’s going to happen. Don’t have a wonky table, your child will never forgive you. ** Very important, make sure your pocket holes on your aprons are pointing in the correct direction so you can attach your table top.
Step 4 – Assuming you followed directions and didn’t eat the wooden doughnut, flip your table frame over and attach it to your tabletop with your pocket holes you’ve already pre-drilled in step 2. Flipping tables is usually reserved for ill-advised badass’ery in bars, so be careful. And don’t forget to add wood glue on the edges before you attach your base to your top. When centering your frame, there should be 1/2″ of overhang on the ends and 1″ overhang on the sides.
Step 5 – Second basemen Ryne Sandberg was always my favorite Cubby growing up, probably the only Cubby I knew because I’m an Orioles fan. This is not the same kind of Cubby, this is one you store stuff in. Please don’t store stuff in Ryne Sandberg. Did I mention you needed to use your Kreg Jig? Well you do. Again. You should have 4 pieces of 1″ x 4″ remaining and a piece of 1″ x 8″. You’ll need 5 pocket holes as pictured below in both 1″ x 4″ x 5″ pieces. Two pocket holes facing downward in both 1″ x 4″ x 9″ pieces. Lastly, four pocket holes as pictured in the 1″ x 8″ x 6″. Attach the 1″ x 4″ pieces with your pocket holes facing outward and down (to attach to the table top) to make a rectangle. Then attach the 1″x8″ in the hole completing your cubby. **Dry fit the 1″ x 8″ before you drill the pocket holes that way you can make any adjustments that might be needed before you put holes in it.
Step 6 – You think you’re ready for this? Attach your cubby! No really, this is the final step in the assembly. You can honestly tune me out after this step…If you want to miss out on more awesome Lazy Guy information… When attaching the cubby, make sure you put wood glue on the edges again and then line up the cubby exactly over the hole in the tabletop so that when it’s flipped over, the edges should be flush. If not… that’s what good sanders are for.
Do it right and it should look something like this:
But Lazy Guy, your pocket holes are in slightly different spots than your diagram and your cuts are slightly different. You are correct, do as I say, not as a I do. But you get the point. The diagram build actually strengthens the table planks.
Finishing – This is where you get to unleash your own creativity on this project and add your own personal flare. Oh wait I lied, you have a major step to go. Sorry, I lulled you into a false sense of security. Time to pull out your sanders and smooth out all surfaces. Start with a 120 grit and then finish with a 220 grit. Remember to absolutely go with the grain on the table top. A couple passes with the non-orbit sander and your tabletop will look one solid piece. Be sure to clean off the entire surface once you’ve finished.
Finishing…for real – I like to cover the entire project with a coat or two of primer. You don’t need to get a fancy can of paint primer, go to the clearance section of your brick and mortar and you can usually find tinted primer or other paints marked down to around $9.00 a can. Don’t believe me? I have a basement full of clearance paints that customers returned. Once you’re primed you might notice some rough edges on the legs, sand those down smooth, clean off the surface and pick out your color for the base. I’ve found that it’s much easier to paint the base prior to the top. Once you’re base is finished (it usually takes me 2 coats minimum) paint your top. I’ve been using the Rust-Oleum Flat Black Chalkboard Paint. Two coats and a touch up usually does it. The Chalkboard Paint dries extremely quickly too, so you can complete the whole top in under an hour. Wait several hours or even until the next day, if you’re satisfied with the chalkboard paint coverage, rub the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk until you have full coverage. Then rub it in with an eraser or a dry rag. Then you can wipe it clean with a wet paper towel. You’ve just locked your chalkboard surface. You are finished my friend. Congrats! How does it look? Send me a picture of your finished project!