Alexi Politis, of Seeking Alexi built it for our DIY Challenge. We challenged her to come up with a fun and doable weekend project, with the only stipulation that she use lumber.Alexi’s side table scoots right up next to the sofa, making it convenient and useful. Her clever way of stacking the wood pieces gives it a sophisticated, modern look. Just follow Alexi’s step-by-step instructions to make your own C-base side table.
Modern C-Base Side Table
I’ve been in desperate need for some cute side tables near my couch. My coffee table is cushioned, which means I can’t set any drinks or food on it for fear of it toppling over. When The Home Depot asked me to create something with lumber, I knew I needed to create some end tables, I just had to decide on what to make!
This table is now the perfect addition to my modern yet natural family room. It is really versatile in appearance because it would be gorgeous left unstained (but still sealed), it could be lightly painted (I would recommend watering down the paint so you can still see the grain, though), or could be stained even darker!
This C-base side table is a one-weekend project if you have the perseverance to do all the sanding in one sitting. I believe in you!
- Miter Saw
- 15 Select Pine Boards, 1 x 2 x 8 beams
- At least 4 Bar Clamps (more would be great, though)
- 1 bottle of Wood Glue
- Electric Sander
- 1 box of Sanding Disks
- 1 container of Pre-Stain Conditioner
- Wood Stain
- Paint Brush
- Wood Sealant
Step 1: Cut the Wood
Cut 15 beams to 8½ in., 15 beams to 10 in., and 30 beams to 25 in.
Step 2: Glue the Wood Pieces Together
Glue the table together! You’ll apply a line of wood glue to each piece as you lay them. Go quickly, and if you have two people, that would be easier so the wood doesn’t move around after you’ve glued it.
Basically, you interlace the beams so the ends fit together with the lengths matching every other layer.
For example, starting on the left, you would lay a 10 in. beam down, and perpendicularly butt it up to the long 25 in. beam, then perpendicularly butt it up against a 8½ in. on the right side coming down (reference image above).
Then starting on the left again and lying on top of the first layer, you would lay a 8½ in., so it lies on top of the previous 10 in. beam. It won’t completely cover it, obviously, because it’s shorter.
With that last 1½ in., you will cover it with the long 25 in. beam. This time it will hang over the previous long 25 in. beam by 1½ in., so that you can fit the last (for this layer) 10 in. beam perpendicularly down from that, and it will match flush to the edge.
Comment on my blog if you have questions about the layout, but I bet once you get started you’ll understand right away!
Align all the wood as perfectly as you can! This is going to be easier if you went really fast stacking the pieces together.
Clamp the wood as tightly and perfectly as you can! Be meticulous with this step. And use an extra pair of hands still, that will help make the rest of the steps easier.
Let the wood dry according to the instructions on the wood glue you used.
Step 3: Patch any Large Holes in the Wood
Fill in any large holes with small wood pieces and some wood glue. I was not very meticulous when I glued my wood together, so the gaps you see in my table are larger than I would have liked. But it’s nothing that some wood glue can’t fix.
Let these spots dry thoroughly before you move on to Step 4!
Step 4: Sand the Table
Sand! Like, a lot. This part is the most annoying but the most rewarding! Just do it like ripping off a bandage– power through, and sand it all in one session if you can.
You want to start with the most rough sanding disk you have; I used a 60 grit, first.
After you’ve sufficiently sanded all the rough grooves and mismatched areas, you’ll want to fill the holes. Sometimes you might need to add a skinny wood piece if you have any large gaps like I did.
After the wood glue has dried, back to sanding with the 60 grit sanding disk.
Then, sand some more with the 100 grit until it’s sufficiently smooth.
Then move to the 150 grit and your table is probably feeling like smooth, smooth butt’ah now! Love how the table feels at this stage.
Step 5: Stain the Table
Clean off your wood with a dry rag so the sawdust is all gone. Then condition your wood with a pre-stain conditioner. This will treat the wood so the stain applies evenly. Paint it on evenly, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then and wipe off the extra with a dry rag.
Then apply the stain! Apply generously with a paint brush, then let it sit for about 5-15 minutes, depending on how dark you want it. Then wipe the excess off with a dry rag.
If you want it darker, repeat this step.
Finally, seal the side table with a sealant so it doesn’t scuff your floors.
That’s it! Your new C-base side table.
See? I told you it was a pretty easy weekend project!