Dynamite Dining Table Done Easy

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By Bill Sands

I’ve built many projects using traditional joinery, but sometimes it makes sense to forego mortise-and-tenon techniques in favor of more expedient methods that get you to your destination faster, and with fewer tools. With this table, the destination was clear: a nice-looking dining room centerpiece that could be made in a weekend by a woodworker who doesn’t have a fully equipped workshop. If you’ve got the basic tools featured here, you can build a beautiful table that would cost hundreds of dollars in a furniture store. Not bad for a weekend of work.

To get started, I chose dimensioned lumber from the local home center and bought premade legs from an online retailer. You can choose your legs and have them shipped directly to you, saving time and energy on your project. You’ll find legs that are square, tapered, or turned in modern or traditional styles in a wide mix of wood species. I found red oak dining legs that perfectly fit the simple Shaker table design I had in mind. With everything in hand, I got to work.

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