Use Dining Table Pedestals for Buffets and Parties

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If you are planning a party or small get together, why not display your cooking talents or table decor with these easy to build pedestals that are the perfect table top size.

What a great way to show off your green bean casserole, or special pumpkin pie. Shari will be the first to tell you that the dining table is one of the best places to show off your decorative talents; after all if you’re a great cook, all eyes will be focused on that table.

These small tables which average about 8 to 12 inches in length can be constructed easily in an afternoon, faster than a slow cooked crock pot meal. So put the pot roast on, go to your work shop and start building.

Tip:

I constructed these small tables using scrap lumber that I had lying around my workshop. If you don’t have any scrap pieces of lumber, go to your local lumber yard or Home Depot and Lowes and see if they will give you some of their scrap lumber lying around. Or purchase just a few 1 x 6’s and 1 x 8’s, it won’t cost that much (I just purchased a piece of 1 x 8 x 8 pine for 3.99).

Materials List:

  • Pine boards 1″ x 6″ or 1″ x 8″
  • carpenters glue
  • measuring tape
  • carpenters square
  • pencil
  • finishing nails
  • miter saw
  • hammer
  • jig saw, with scroll blade
  • wood filler
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • paint color of choice

Instructions:

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1. The first thing that you will want to do is come up with a few design ideas, try to vary each table, as well as the size and height of each design. When placed on the dining table on the big day, the tables should be varied in height and width to give the table and your recipes more interest.

The first table I built was this simple design that has a rectangular top with two side rails and two simple bench type legs.

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2. Using my miter saw, I cut the top piece out of a 1x 6 piece of pine to measure 12” in length and two bench legs that measure 8 inches in length.

The two bench legs are created by measuring along the bottom edge of the leg and finding the center. Mark center with a carpenters square. Then measure out from center 1 inch on both sides and make a mark. Complete the leg design by measuring up the center line 3 inches and drawing in the wedge shaped cut out.

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3. Clamp the piece to your work table and cut out the leg using a jig saw. After both legs have been cut, lightly sand the top and legs using a 120 grit sandpaper to soften the edges of each piece.

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4. To attach the legs to the top, draw a guide line on the top piece by measuring in 1 ½ inches from both ends and mark using a carpenters square. Run a bead of carpenters glue and attach the two bench legs using your guide lines to ensure that the legs are square.

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5. Once the glue has started to take hold flip the table over and secure using finishing nails and a hammer. I use a small nail gun but that is not necessary, but if you are planning on building a lot of projects for around your home, a nail gun and a small compressor is a great upgrade to your shop tools.

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6. Finish off the small table by adding two side rails to the top of the table. Cut two 1 x 2 to the same length as the top, in this case, 12 inches. To add interest I cut a small 45 degree angle off the end of each piece. Measure down ½ inches and along the length 1 inch and remove using the miter saw. Attach the two pieces using wood glue and secure with small finish nails. Sand the entire piece and fill all nail holes with wood filler.

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Another table that you may want to try is constructed using small legs that I purchased at a home center store. These small legs come in all different sizes and shapes and are fairly inexpensive.

I had a set lying around the shop and thought they would work great for the pedestals. Try using different items that you may have in your work room.

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1. The basic construction uses 1”x 2” pine to construct a rectangular box with two sides and two ends.

The sides measure 10 inches in length and the ends measure 4 inches in length. Cut the pieces to length using a miter saw then attach using wood glue and nails.

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2. The pedestal top is a 1” x 10” board cut so that it overlaps the rectangular frame an inch all the way around. Cut the top to size using the miter saw. Then, using a round over bit, route a rounded edge around the entire piece.

Tip:
I used a router table for the previous step, but it can be done using a router with a pilot bit. Of course, if you don’t have a router, the edges to all of the tables can be softened by sanding them using a 120 grit sandpaper. The simplicity of using just sandpaper makes the project look even more hand made and attractive.

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3. Attach the top using wood glue and allow the glue to set. Then, flip the piece over and securing from the top using finishing nails. The nail holes will be filled during the final step with wood filler.

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4. If you have purchased legs, they will probably be longer than you’ll need for the desired height of the pedestal. Use the miter saw to cut them to length.

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5. Attach the legs to the bottom of the table using wood glue to hold them into position within the rectangular box. I set them in place by driving small finish nails through the side rails into the legs. Once the glue sets the legs will stay firmly in place.

The final pedestal I constructed is probably my favorite because it shows you how to create curves in wood. This pedestal is constructed with a simple pine top and two bench legs with soft center curves in the legs.

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1. Cut the top using the miter saw. This one measures 6”x 10”. The legs measure 1” narrower than the top and are 6” high.

Here is my favorite part – drawing curves. When I draw curves I reach for the best templates in the world, containers and lids. I use coffee containers, fountain drink tops, anything that will give me the curve or circle that works best.

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2. For the two legs I used a coffee container to lay out the design of the legs then cut out the shape using a jig saw. After the pieces were cut out, I attached to the top using wood glue, allow setting for a few minutes then secured from the top using finish nails.

Of course the final step to all the above pedestals was to sand smooth with 220 grit sandpaper, fill all holes and then paint. I used a variety of colors to paint the pedestals. This is a great opportunity to use left over paint you may have lying around your shop or garage. Use a variety of colors, paint the legs one color and the tops another. For further protection from spills and drips coat the tops with several coats of a water-based polyurethane.

As you can see from my “beauty shot” at the beginning, I constructed many different styles of pedestals. I gave you several basic construction steps but I didn’t show all the designs. I’m challenging you to come up with your own styles. Once you have completed your pedestals, take a photo and send it to us at “Ask Matt and Shari”. We love seeing the great work of our fans!!

Matt

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