Hey there, happy Monday! This is an awesome Monday for me because I get to blog about my first ever furniture build. I built this cool, modern x-brace side table for my mom as her Mother’s Day gift and now I’m going to walk you through how I made it! I found the table from Rogue Engineer and you can see the full plans here. It’s taken me ages to actually pick a piece to make as my first furniture build, and I couldn’t pass this one up. The concrete top gives this table a clean look that seems simple, but the angles of the wooden base turned it into a bit of a challenge – something I definitely appreciate. The best part about it? All the materials can be purchased for around $30!
Here are the tools I used:
- Ryobi 10″ Compound Miter Saw
- Power drill
- Kreg Mini Pocket Hole Jig
- Tape Measure
- Safety Glasses
What to buy from your hardware store:
- (2) 8′ 2×4 boards
- (1) 8′ 1×2 board
- 80 lb. bag of Quikcrete
- Wood stain of your choice
- 10′ galvanized flashing at least 3″ wide
- 2-1/2″ pocket screws
- 1-1/4″ pocket screws
- Plywood or melamine square (at least 30″ x 30″)
How to build it:
In the picture above, you can see that I laid out all the necessary cuts for this piece. This is where the compound miter saw comes in as there are a lot of different angled cuts to make.
To connect all these pieces, I used this little tool called the Kreg Jig Mini to drill pocket holes. They have bigger, more user-friendly versions of this tool, but for a much larger price that I haven’t been able to talk myself into spending yet. This version works just fine and comes with a neat little guide on how to use it as well as a special drill bit. As you can see, I clamped the tool onto the board and used the edge of my work bench to secure it. I then drilled two pocket holes into each connecting joint.
The sides of the x-brace are made up of the two 17-1/4″ boards connected to two of the 13-3/4″ boards using 2-1/2″ pocket screws. When connecting these, make sure that the 10 degree side of the 13-3/4″ board is attached on the 50 degree side of the 17-1/4″ board. The first time I attached them, I had the longer board flipped which made the entire base misaligned. The 50 degree angles should be in the center of the “X” while all the legs are tapered out at 40 degrees.
The central piece of the x-brace is made up of the longest cut board and made into an “X” using the two 13-3/4″ boards that are left. I alternated the direction of the pocket holes so that the screws wouldn’t try to intersect when put together.
Once the separate sections of the base are assembled, they can all be connected to each other. Each side brace comes together in the center of the main “X”. The two 50 degree sides will be flush with the center of the main brace. I drilled two pocket holes in each side brace and used 1-1/4″ pocket screws to attach these.
These smaller 1 x 2 x 12″ pieces with 45 degree ends are used as supports for the concrete top and are attached about 1-2″ from the ends of the legs. Since the base can be flipped on either side, it doesn’t matter which you attach the supports to. I drilled one pocket hole in each end of these and attached them using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Now for the fun part – the concrete! This part is actually what sold me on making this table. If you’ve never mixed concrete before, don’t fear! It’s actually totally simple and basically fool-proof. I bought a 10 gallon bucket and mixed the bag of Quikcrete with water in little bits at a time until all the concrete is used and it’s a thick but even consistency. To form your mold, cut the aluminum flashing to 88″ and form it into a circle. Tape the ends together and then tape it all around onto your plywood panel. Then go ahead and pour the concrete into the mold, smooth it out (I used a block of 2×4), and insert the base into the wet concrete until the top supports are submerged. I used a level on each leg to make sure it was evenly placed into the concrete.
Let it set and dry for 2-3 days, stain the base, unwrap the flashing and you’ve got yourself a brand new table! I feel it’s easiest to stain the base while the concrete is still drying because then they can finish drying together. Talk about efficient, am I right? I used Minwax PolyShade stain in “Mission Oak”, but feel free to use whatever you love best for yours. Also, I chose not to fill the pocket holes but you can easily do that with a little wood filler if you’d like to.
All in all, I am very happy with this table as my first furniture build. If you’ve got a couple of days, $30, and a need (or want) for an awesome table, then go ahead and tackle this project. It’s simple, sleek, and a super fun build.
Thanks for stopping by friends! Check back next week for another post 🙂