I sew. I needed a table, because the
one I had was only 22" wide, and the cloth I tend to buy comes in 60" widths
(one typically folds the cloth in half, to cut two mirror-image pieces at the
same time). I looked around on the net for instructions for making a craft
table, but couldn't find any, so I made one for myself. It's decidedly
over-engineered, but I'd rather have a heavy table than one that collapses.
Let the wood shop cut the lengths for you,
because they'll get it square. Jewson
didn't charge me extra for cutting.
Medium Density Fibreboard: 3'x7'x18mm (arrived 4x8; I cut this down).
Pine 2"x4": lengths: 6'x2 (backbones), 4'x4 (legs)
L-corner reinforcers: 20 (I used 4" ones with 3 holes on each arm)
Screws 1"x8 gauge: 120 + 8
Metal (steel) strips 1/2"x1/8"x1': 4 (Drill holes in either end for 1"x8 screws)
2" nails: 6 or so
Points to note:
All joints are butt joints with L-reinforcers. Screw one reinforcer to the
6' length, about in the middle, aligned with the sides, hold the leg or strut
in place against the 6' length to mark the screw holes, and then hold another
L-reinforcer against the other side to mark the other side's screw holes.
Drill the innermost holes at a slight angle, so the screwdriver will angle
away from the joint and you'll be able to turn it without scraping your
knuckles. Use a bradawl to start the holes.
I'm no good at estimating whether the drill's perpendicular, so I folded
some scrap paper twice to make a right angle, tore the folded corner off (with
about an inch to spare) and used that while setting the drill.
The legs should be at 1/4 and 3/4 along the long 6' (backbone) pieces. The
backbone pieces have the 4" width horizontal; the legs' sides are flush with
the backbones' 2" edges (see diagram).
When drilling the metal strips, use a punch to start the holes. If you
have no punch or nail handy, use a thin bit of scrap wood with a hole in it to
hold the drill fairly steady (or just do the best you can) for the first one,
and use that metal strip to hold the drill in place for the subsequent holes.
Putting another strip of metal beneath the one you're drilling helps stop the
top strip flying around if you're holding it by hand, and nicely starts the
hole for the lower bit.
The metal strips are to brace the legs against the backbone spacers
they're adjacent to. Screw them on at about a 45 degree angle, see photo.
Drill pilot holes and nail the MDF to the table frame. For pine, a 1/8"
drill seemed to work for gauge 8 screws, but Google will know best.
Don't leave the wood standing around outside, or in places where it'll get
very hot (eg a conservatory or glass-house), because it will probably warp.
Of course, had I known that B&Q sold trestle clips, I would have used those instead, although I would still have needed to reinforce the MDF, so perhaps it's just as well I didn't know about them. :)