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DIY Mid Century Modern End Table / Side Table

  • August 4, 2017

Modern Builds
Modern Builds
Modern Builds
Modern Builds

This week I built a really minimal Mid-Century inspired side table. All the cuts were made with just a circular saw and smoothed out with my belt sander. This written step by step instructions are complimentary to the build video, which goes into a bit more detail.

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large 9a8c8841 034a 419d baa4 5685d7008bb8

      I clamped the pieces down to my table top so that the pieces would stay flat and nothing could move once I lined it up. I added wood glue to the joints and added screws.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 1d2dd070 d53c 4b8f 965d a65d7bc65635

      After the glue dried I attached the legs to the box by making lines going from corner to corner on the bottom of the box, then incremental marks every inch from the corners. This made it so that i could line everything up square and symmetrical. I attached the base with more pocket screws making sure the side with the holes are facing the back of the table.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 1a2c46a9 30fa 44cf b74c b26b00f70ac0

      I made the drawer the simplest I could think. I just screwed the four side pieces together with recessed screws (I used my pocket hole jig drill bit) and then attached the plywood bottom to that. The drawer face will be attached later.

    4. Step: 4

      Large c8596067 cde5 4f4d b01b 6def4fd8c072

      I chose to make wooden drawer slides. I hadn't done them before but had wanted to try for a while. They worked nicely, but you could always buy a set of drawer slides for just a few bucks. I attached some 3/8" strips of scrap plywood from my cutoff pile to the side of the drawer with wood glue and some small pin nails.

    5. Step: 5

      Large 9d4747fb 9b85 446c 8989 0d2016b2e9ba

      Then, I attached two more pieces of plywood to the inside of the box spaced just enough apart the drawer can slide in with minimal wiggle room

    6. Step: 6

      Large ee604904 f923 4e81 b245 2e5fd34dcff9

      You want it to be snug but still free to move. If it's not sliding great, adding a bit of paste wax will help it out.

    7. Step: 7

      Large aa268bfd 097a 4eba 9579 546542141dc8

      I decided to make my own drawer pull as well. I cut some scrap leather I had into an 1.25" strip and contact cemented the two ends together making a simple "loop".

    8. Step: 8

      Large c1b639aa 9bd7 4b70 8250 0fb10b311819

      I attached the pull with a nice brass screw and washer. I was surprised. It worked really well! and to finish everything off, I added a coat of boiled linseed oil. If you want something a bit more rugged, Polycrylic may be a better choice.

    9. Step: 9

      Large 9be74733 a363 4ff7 a2cc 7ceac971a805

      To start, I set my saw to cut at 45° and cut the pieces for the main case or "box" for the table. I cut them in sequential order so that the grain would flow from piece to piece once it's all glued up.

    10. Step: 10

      Large a2facb63 0002 4a69 b2b3 39b5a5237f90

      Next, I lined up my pieces in order against a straight edge and taped the seams. I'd normally use masking tape but I was out.

    11. Step: 11

      Large d5f2a7bb af3a 43b5 b273 c8ea5e5e5a9e

      I added glue to the inside of the joints and then closed up the box, closing the last joint with another piece of tape.

    12. Step: 12

      Large f456aa72 a40a 44b9 8109 beb3fe51d58d

      To reinforce the joints as well as add a little visual intrigue, I drilled and inserted dowels along the top and bottom edge of the box. I used a "flush trim saw" to trim the off.

    13. Step: 13

      Large 06291316 6b2d 4f68 addb 4ee311f8410e

      With the box finished, I moved on to creating the base. I started by drawing out the lines for the legs based on the diagram at the top of the instructions. I cut the tapers out with the circular saw and smoothed everything out with my belt sander clamped upside down on my workbench.

    14. Step: 14

      Large 2957c564 5b89 4813 b802 e1d9c0732aca

      I used my Kreg pocket hole jig to make pocket hole on the ends of the "stretchers" where they will attach to the legs.

Comments (2)


  • this looks awesome and a great project to attempt. Thanks
    By rybena, on August 4, 2017

  • Simple, sleek, impressive. Love it!
    By RYOBI Nation, on August 18, 2017

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DIY Mid Century Modern End Table / Side Table

by Modern Builds
Aug 04, 2017
Medium 256b964d 5177 47b7 bfba 30a2f33845f8

This week I built a really minimal Mid-Century inspired side table. All the cuts were made with just a circular saw and smoothed out with my belt sander. This written step by step instructions are complimentary to the build video, which goes into a bit more detail.

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge 9a8c8841 034a 419d baa4 5685d7008bb8

    I clamped the pieces down to my table top so that the pieces would stay flat and nothing could move once I lined it up. I added wood glue to the joints and added screws.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 1d2dd070 d53c 4b8f 965d a65d7bc65635

    After the glue dried I attached the legs to the box by making lines going from corner to corner on the bottom of the box, then incremental marks every inch from the corners. This made it so that i could line everything up square and symmetrical. I attached the base with more pocket screws making sure the side with the holes are facing the back of the table.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 1a2c46a9 30fa 44cf b74c b26b00f70ac0

    I made the drawer the simplest I could think. I just screwed the four side pieces together with recessed screws (I used my pocket hole jig drill bit) and then attached the plywood bottom to that. The drawer face will be attached later.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge c8596067 cde5 4f4d b01b 6def4fd8c072

    I chose to make wooden drawer slides. I hadn't done them before but had wanted to try for a while. They worked nicely, but you could always buy a set of drawer slides for just a few bucks. I attached some 3/8" strips of scrap plywood from my cutoff pile to the side of the drawer with wood glue and some small pin nails.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge 9d4747fb 9b85 446c 8989 0d2016b2e9ba

    Then, I attached two more pieces of plywood to the inside of the box spaced just enough apart the drawer can slide in with minimal wiggle room

  6. Step: 6
    Huge ee604904 f923 4e81 b245 2e5fd34dcff9

    You want it to be snug but still free to move. If it's not sliding great, adding a bit of paste wax will help it out.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge aa268bfd 097a 4eba 9579 546542141dc8

    I decided to make my own drawer pull as well. I cut some scrap leather I had into an 1.25" strip and contact cemented the two ends together making a simple "loop".

  8. Step: 8
    Huge c1b639aa 9bd7 4b70 8250 0fb10b311819

    I attached the pull with a nice brass screw and washer. I was surprised. It worked really well! and to finish everything off, I added a coat of boiled linseed oil. If you want something a bit more rugged, Polycrylic may be a better choice.

  9. Step: 9
    Huge 9be74733 a363 4ff7 a2cc 7ceac971a805

    To start, I set my saw to cut at 45° and cut the pieces for the main case or "box" for the table. I cut them in sequential order so that the grain would flow from piece to piece once it's all glued up.

  10. Step: 10
    Huge a2facb63 0002 4a69 b2b3 39b5a5237f90

    Next, I lined up my pieces in order against a straight edge and taped the seams. I'd normally use masking tape but I was out.

  11. Step: 11
    Huge d5f2a7bb af3a 43b5 b273 c8ea5e5e5a9e

    I added glue to the inside of the joints and then closed up the box, closing the last joint with another piece of tape.

  12. Step: 12
    Huge f456aa72 a40a 44b9 8109 beb3fe51d58d

    To reinforce the joints as well as add a little visual intrigue, I drilled and inserted dowels along the top and bottom edge of the box. I used a "flush trim saw" to trim the off.

  13. Step: 13
    Huge 06291316 6b2d 4f68 addb 4ee311f8410e

    With the box finished, I moved on to creating the base. I started by drawing out the lines for the legs based on the diagram at the top of the instructions. I cut the tapers out with the circular saw and smoothed everything out with my belt sander clamped upside down on my workbench.

  14. Step: 14
    Huge 2957c564 5b89 4813 b802 e1d9c0732aca

    I used my Kreg pocket hole jig to make pocket hole on the ends of the "stretchers" where they will attach to the legs.