Rustic X Console

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 09:08
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Build a rustic X console! Free step by step plans from Ana-White.com!

Hi everyone!

Did you have a good weekend?

I can't tell you more about my weekend just yet other than the fact that I'm pretty darn sore. A DIY life sure keeps you in shape, doesn't it?

I'll give you a hint - it has to do with 2x4s.

Lots of 2x4s.

Speaking of 2x4s - aren't they awesome????  So sturdy and strong and cheap, and for today's plan, beautiful!

Yep, those are 2x4 legs!!!!

My friend Hillary from The Friendly Home has been asking for plans for a substantially sized X Console like this one from another friend of mine's home - Kate from Centsational Girl:

Hillary and I worked really hard on this design to get it JUST right.  She wanted something a little more rustic, and I had received numerous other plan requests for an X console inspired by Pottery Barn's Belmont Buffet.  

And this is what we came up with!  Now I say we as in I just drew a plan up.  Hillary took a simple plan made up of 2x4s, 2x2s, 2x6s and 1x12s and turned it into a heirloom piece filled with heirlooms.

Like the beautiful handmade console, each of those quilts has a story too.  I encourage you to take a second to stop over to The Friendly Home and read more about Hillary building this console, the finish she used, and the story behind those beautiful quilts!

Dimensions
Dimensions are shown above.

Preparation

Shopping List

6 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long
3 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1x12 @ 12 feet long
3 – 2x6 @ stud length or 8 feet
Corner hardware/decorative bolts
1 1/4" and 2 1/2" pocket hole screws
2 1/2" screws

Cut List

12 – 2x2 @ 30”
6 – 2x4 @ 28 1/2"
2 – 1x12 @ 63 1/2"
5 – 2x4 @ 11 1/4"
2 – 2x2 @ 11 1/4"
2 – 2x2 @ 22 1/2" (long point to short point, ends parallel, cut at 60 degrees off square)
4 – 2x2 @ 11 1/4" (longest point to shortest point, long end cut at 60 degrees off square, short point cut at 30 degrees off square, angles are in same direction)
3 – 2x6 @ 74 1/2"

Cutting Instructions

NOTE: If your saw does not cut 60 degrees off square, you will need to mark cuts with an angle square or compass/protractor and cut angles with circular saw or jigsaw. Practice this cut first on scraps!

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Hammer
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Miter Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Instructions

Step 1

First build two frames as shown in diagram.

Step 2

Then attach frames to shelves. NOTE: I recommend drilling 3/4" PHs with Kreg Jig around all sides of each shelf for attaching all shelf trim with 1 1/4" PH screws later on.

Step 3

2x4 supports need to be the same width as your 1x12 boards - expected to be 11 1/4" wide. Attach to frames and shelves. For attaching to frames, use 2 1/2" PH screws through 1 1/2" PHs.

Step 4

And then just trim out sides of shelves.

Step 5

Step 6

And then add the top! You can build top first with 1 1/2" PHs and 2 1/2" PH screws and then attach to top through 2x4/2x2 aprons or just plank the top for a rustic look - it's up to you. TIP: Just use your 2 1/2" PH screw to attach the top so you don't have to go out and buy more 2 1/2" screws.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Comments

pdxbrit

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 08:54

Great article, my x-console is now awaiting a coat of oxidizing solution before being sanded again and finished with PolyWhey. A quick tip for folks whose compound mitre saws cannot get the angle they want (I modified the plans slightly, so I needed to hit a 27° angle). Use your 45° metal quick square to offset the angle.

For example to get the 27° angle I would have used 63° on my mitre saw, but mine maxes out at 61.5°, so instead wedge your 45° quick square between the saw guide and the piece you're cutting and set your mitre saw to 63°-45°=18°. Bingo you end up with the cut you need.

Can't wait to have this one finished so I can start on your farmhouse bedroom tables next!

dfreedman

Sun, 12/01/2013 - 21:12

I've started my cuts and PH drilling to get things prepped for assembly when my 2.5" PH screws arrive (local HW store didn't have them).

It seems to me that given the few checks that I've made, not everything is perfectly square. I don't have a Kreg assembly table, I have a workbench (bench solutions) and some bar clamps. My intention is to try to clamp pieces to my bench as I assemble with PH screws to get the best joints. I've read that in building furniture having everything square is really important. I mean, of course I want the thing to sit FLAT on the floor when I'm done without it wobbling around. I took time to get the straightest boards I could find. I checked the miter saw I'm using and the fence is square and does not move. I cut all pieces using the same saw. Am I missing something? How do you get every angle on your piece of furniture perfectly square? Am I just being anal retentive? If I'm going to spend a couple of days at this, I just want to wind up with a good piece at the end.

OK, sanding. I bought 120 and 220 grit paper and I have a palm sander. How do I know when I've done a good sanding job? How much sanding is too much sanding? I'm not trying to change the dimensions of my board or go crazy, I've just not prepped for finishing before. I honestly just don't know what is "good enough" versus "not good enough" when it comes to sanding.

Last, finishing. I purchased several stains which I'll be trying on scraps from the same lumber I bought to build the project. I'm not so concerned about the staining process as finishing. I asked a guy at Home Depot about Poly Satin finish. I told him I didn't really want the piece to be shiny, more "matte" but protected, so he recommended a finishing wax so that's what I picked up. Any advice on how best to use this and get the best results? Any tutorials out there?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to try to help me. Cheers.

Lady Goats

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 07:29

First, square. Cutting is the first place to screw this up and the most difficult to fix. The best way I've learned to check is to make a cut at the end of a board (should be done anyway since not all board'd ends are square) and see if it's cutting square. The fence on the saw may be squared, but the blades have a tendency to shift (and easily, in my case). If it's square, you're good to go. Just make sure to check often.

If it's not square, either google "How to square up a miter saw" (using your saws manufacturer or model number in the search will help with your particular saw) or, if you have your instruction manual still, check there. The first time may take a while, but it's a good thing to learn to do as miter saws come out of square often. After you get it squared up, make your cuts and check that it's square often.

When assembling, the method you described should work. Just make sure that you check for square at every joint.

Sanding. Ohhhh sanding. I hate sanding. Most of the time, sanding is best done before the piece is assembled. You may have to sand after it's assembled if the joints don't line up perfectly, but it's easier to do a final sanding than to do all of your sanding once it's assembled.

I don't ever take my own advice, however, and always end up sanding after it's assembled.

I would start with a lower sanding grit. Usually 60 or 80. I've started with 120 before, however. It took a little longer, but it got the job done. Go over each board thoroughly (if you're afraid you won't be thorough, you can draw over the entire board with a pencil before sanding, and you know you've done it well when there is no more pencil left on the board) with the lower number grit and then do the same with the higher number grit. The board should feel very smooth when you're finished with no splintering.

Finishing. I would suggest following the directions on the back of the can. People use furniture wax and paste with great results, but techniques vary with each brand (this is my way of not being very helpful :-p).

dfreedman

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 22:08

Thanks for the response.

I checked my saw, everything is square. I double checked my boards since I didn't cut the ends of the boards I purchased, those were square too. I do have some warped boards which are presenting a bit of a challenge. I did my best to pick the best available but still wound up with some junk it seems. Almost everything fit together nearly perfectly except a couple of pieces. As an example, one of my 2x4s which connects the 'front frame' to the 'back frame' sticks out the side further than I'd like, it's not flush with the sides of the legs like it's supposed to be. So my shelf is just slightly too long. Grr. Can I use a hand plane or something to shave off some wood and fix this? Oh well, it's my first piece.

My 1-1/4" PH screws were poking through my 2x2s when attaching the shelves. Not desired. Had Kreg Jig set to proper settings so that's not supposed to happen but I saw nobody else post about that here. Also my Kreg Jig came with a 6" square bit for the PH screws, so that along with the size of my drill made it very difficult to get an angle on the pieces joining the front and back frames together.

Sanding. I agree, on the next project I will absolutely sand before assembly then do a final after assembly. Sanding while assembled is a pain.

I got several stains. I recommend taking some scrap and trying one or more coats of stain to see what depth of color can be acheived. Depending on the color, a second coat can make a big difference. Try layering multiple stain colors, you will be surprised how this doest always yield the color you thought it would. Also the longer the stain stays on the darker it gets. If you want to be really anal, time what you're doing so you can repeat your scrap results on your final piece. Highly recommend experimenting on scrap before attempting to stain your actual piece.

Tried the wax finish. Was looking for more of a matte / natural looking finish without the reflective type shine. The guy at Home Depot rexommended the wax even over the satin poly urethane finish for the look I'm going for. You can rub it on, it goes on very thin and it will dry in about 15min, let it dry longer though depending on ambient temperature. Then go back and polish it with a clean smooth cloth (I used a staining cloth). You can get a very mild shine by buffing out the wax... barely noticeable but slightly more shine than just the bare wood with the stain on it. Looks and feels great. No multiple coats needed with sanding in between each one. Much less work if you're impatient but still want to protect your wood. Annual upkeep will be necessary I assume but as this is a decorative piece for us I'm not too concerned about it taking a massive beating.

This is my first project (aside from simple step stool which I don't consider real furniture like this piece). I'm learning a lot. It's not rocket science but it is more difficult to make a 'perfectly fitted' piece of furniture out of cheap pine or in my case douglas fir than you think. The plans / instructions are great. For me the lack of the level of quality I'd like to acheive is definitely part lack of experience (zero woodshop classes / skills) along with probably lack of proper technique or tools to ensure precision cuts and measurements. I think proper fit is the first most important thing to make your piece look great. Others won't notice your mistakes so easily but you will always know where they are and they will bug you. Second, I think do not rush through sanding or prepping your wood with pre-stain conditioner. Finally, test your desired finish on scrap to ensure a satisfactory look on your final piece. Take your time. If there's one thing I've learned it's that making even just 'decent' furniture is not a rush job and making fine furniture will require tons of practice.

Cheers!

dfreedman

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 22:32

Lots of people have asked (including myself) and then I realized this has been answered several times already.

I shopped around but couldn't really find what I wanted so I did what others on the forum have done.

I bought 1/2" (width) x 1" (length) coarse threaded stainless hex bolts at hime depot. Ask a clerk they will take you right to them. They only had 1" depth in stainless at my store which was annoying. I could have got 3/8" x 1" non-stainless instrad for half the price but on a piece this size I wanted the larger bolts as I think the 3/8" will look too small. I plan to pre-drill my holes. Spray paint flat black (I found a can for $0.99).

L-straps / brackets at Home Depot too. You COULD get 1-1/2" wide straps, technically these should be the same width as your 2x4s (which are really 1-1/2" wide), but I wouldn't go this wide on the straps unless you want your kids banging their heads on these sharp metal corners. I'd rather they bonk wood than metal. So I went with slightly less wide straps, maybe 1". This would leave 1/4" on top and bottom of the strap when mounted which also isn't a bad look to still see some of the wood there. Same, spray paint flat black.

Hope this helps.

Shamroxx

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 17:50

Hello! I'm new to the site, and to building things in general. I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on something in Step 1 for this plan. I was wondering how everyone else goes about clamping their 2x2 and 2x4 in place when building their frames for this console. Is there a special clamp I would need to clamp them together so that I can screw them together without any shifting?

Also, am I under the right assumption that the actual dimensions of the 2x2 are 1 1/2 x 1 1/x2"? I purchased some earlier today, and noticed they're about 1/4" thinner than the 2x4's that I have. I was thinking this would create issues when trying to put the board for the shelf in since the 2x2 wouldn't be flush with the facing of the 2x4.

If anyone out there can help guide me along the way, I truly would appreciate it! Thank you to anyone who responds in advance!

dfreedman

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 08:44

Clamping:
I have a workbench and some Irwin bar clamps (search Home Depot / Lowes). I put one side of the clamp on the underside of my workbench and the other side on top of one of the frame pieces (clamping a frame piece to the bench to hold it very still). I used a couple of clamps to hold the board very still. Then I just held the other pieces in place as I fasted my PH screws. The piece you are holding will 'pull away' from the other board at first, but once the PH joints tighten up, everything should be flush. This worked out well enough for me but it would have been nice to have a Kreg Right Angle Clamp (search Google).

Dimensions:
Most lumber is slightly short of the dimensions listed (nominal size). Google search 'commercial lumber sizes, engineers edge' they have a nice chart for you. The 2x2s should be just as thick as your 2x4s. Meaning if you look at the 'front frame' (for example) you should have (3) 2x4s (vertical) and (6) 2x2s (horizontal). The 2x2s should be the same thickness as the 2x4s... meaning that when assembled, the front of the 2x2 will be flush with the front of the 2x4 and the back of the 2x2 will also be flush with the back of the 2x4. I had no problems with this. Take a tape measure with you to the lumber yard when purchasing, know what you are getting before you buy when following plans. Also, the front and back frame 2x2s will be 'thicker' than the shelf board that you mount between them. I didn't see this as a problem really, I just flush mounted the shelf to the top side of the 2x2s and called it good. Pretty sure everyone else is doing the same.

Happy New Year

chlag

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 21:44

Thanks for the X console plans. I have modified it to make a TV console and really does the work. It looks amazing.

ar377

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 13:57

What happened to my question I asked last week? Weird.

Did anyone build theirs taller than 30 inches? 30 inches seems a little short to me.