Clara Table

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 11/08/2010 - 19:47
Difficulty
Beginner
| Print this plan

This simple children's play table is easy and economical to build, at the perfect height for toddlers and preschoolers.

But then, you already knew there had to be a table to match those stackable four dollar chairs from yesterday.

Clara might be just 18 months old, but the table is plenty big enough for her almost four year old cousin, Grace (who yes, depends on hand-me-downs and refuses to brush her hair).  And I won't make you look at the photo, but I in fact can sit at this table with my legs under the apron, on those chairs, comfortably.  So don't be intimidated about making this table for your preschooler, or even grade schooler.

BUT the table is small, perfect for small spaces.  You could put up to four chairs around it, but it would be tight.

The girls were playing library with their pretend library.  You can get those plans (and more pretend play plans) right here.

And of course, Clara's table plans are right here.  Oh, did I mention that my sister and I put this table together in literally minutes?

Dimensions
Dimensions shown above.

Preparation

Shopping List

1 – 1×8, 8 feet long
1 – 2×2, 8 feet long
1 – 1×3, 8 feet long
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
Wood Glue

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Cut List

3 – 1×8 @ 32″ (if your 1×8 is EXACTLY 96″ long, cut these boards at 31 7/8″ to account for the saw blade)
4 – 2×2 @ 21 1/4″ (legs)
2 – 1×3 @ 17 1/2″ (End Aprons)
2 – 1×3 @ 27″ (Side Aprons)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Level
Drill Bit Set

Instructions

Step 1

Cut your Boards and Drill Pocket Holes

Many of you do not have a Kreg Jig™. My sister, who took wood shop in highschool, has built quite a bit of furniture, and showed me how to use a circular saw the first time, has never seen a Kreg Jig™. After this project, she’s getting one. Also consider this. A similar table and chair set runs around $240. My cost for this table? Seventeen dollars. Spend the cost differential on a Kreg Jig™. Its worth it.

Cut your boards, according to the cut list. Measure the 1x8s and make sure they are in fact 7 1/2″ wide. Mine up here in Alaska are, but others say theirs are 7 1/4″ or 7 3/8″. If your 1x8s are narrower, take the difference, multiply it by three, and subtract that from the cut length of the 1×3 side aprons.

Next, drill all your pocket holes. I like to make Xs where all the pocket holes go as I cut.

Step 2

Build the Tabletop

There are other ways to build this tabletop without pocket holes, but in order to get a tabletop worthy of coloring and cheap, this was the answer. I love using solid wood in this application because you can always sand and refinish – and you just might have to. This table was left unfinished for about 3 hours. When I got the paint brush out, it was covered in very large awkwardly written Gs. A few minutes of sanding beats being upset any day.

Step 3

Base

Drill all your pocket holes first (see step 4) and then attach the legs to the aprons. I like to either inset my aprons slightly or to drill my pocket holes on the outsides to keep the legs from splitting. Adjust for square.

Step 4

Tabletop

Now is the fun part. Line the table top up with the base and screw together. The coolest thing about pocket holes is that it sucked up any differences in the tabletop. Sometimes when you join boards that are not perfectly square, your tabletop isn’t smooth. The pocket holes forced the tabletop square with the aprons.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
My table was filled with wood filler, two coats. Then I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper. Finally, I primed and added two coats of Valspar High Gloss White trim paint. For more general building instructions, see Get Started Section.

Please excuse my typos. Today’s post was put together with the help of an 18 month old, a three year old, and a six year old. Keyboards must be fun if Mom spends so much time using one
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.

Comments

rhilborn (not verified)

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 10:54

Ana,
You posted plans for me a month or so ago in the Community for a PB inspired Carolina craft table. Now that I see these plans and the fact that the table top is lovely solid lumber and not plywood...I might make this with chairs instead and wait to make the craft table until we have more kids and are in a bigger space. Thanks so much for the crazy simple, crazy awesome plans. I just feel bad that you made up plans and I may not use them yet:(.

Bradi (not verified)

Sun, 10/28/2012 - 21:43

I've searched all through the site to try and find a table that's slightly larger than the Clara table and found this post about the plans for a PB inspired Carolina table, but I can't find the actual plans! I'd love to see these plans or any plans for a simple table like this that is just slightly larger!

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 19:31

Lisa, a pocket hole is simple a hole drilled at an angle, so you can join two boards together edge to edge. I will be putting out a video to describe pocket holes in more detail soon. A pocket hole jig is simply a hand tool that positions your drill so that you can drill clean, straight pocket holes easily.

Niki (not verified)

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 20:28

If you're just getting started Go with the mini Kreg Jig http://www.kregtool.com/Kreg-Jigreg-Mini-Prodview.html -- I got mine at Lowe's (aka Blue) for $20. Right next to the Kreg Jig were pocket hole screws, and a special driver bit that had a square tip for the kreg pocket hole screws.

I highly suggest the "Getting Started" tab up at the top. There is a list of tools, and great beginner projects.

Niki (not verified)

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 20:31

If you’re just getting started Go with the mini Kreg Jig http://www.kregtool.com/Kreg-Jigreg-Mini-Prodview.html — I got mine at Lowe’s (aka Blue) for $20. Right next to the Kreg Jig were pocket hole screws, and a special driver bit that had a square tip for the kreg pocket hole screws.

I highly suggest the “Getting Started” tab up at the top. There is a list of tools, and great beginner projects.

Niki (not verified)

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 20:34

Love this. I made a modified version of the storage table last week. Except in my modifications.... I botched it pretty good. So I set it aside in the garage until I could come up with a way to salvage it. This has given me the perfect solution, and I may end up with 2 tables because of it :) The chairs will be a perfect addition!