The C Table - Is the "C" for Couch or Computer?
24 April 2017
You've just got to love it when you realize you have all the materials you need to build something you've wanted for a while. Such was the case when I came across 4 black L-brackets in my "junk" drawer- just what I needed for the laptop table I wanted for the farm house.
I had picked up two trim boards (1 x 4 x 8') from a collection of gray shiplap specialty wood from Home Depot, just because it was good looking and may come in handy sometime. It's hard to find real barn wood that has weathered to a natural gray. Many years ago I was gifted with a nice slab of cherry which I had been saving for a special project. Now with the L-brackets, it was time to put something together.
Cutting the wood- There are 3 considerations when designing a C-Table for yourself. The height of the legs was determined by the height of my couch arms. It turned out they were 25.5" from the floor, so I cut my 2 leg pieces out of the gray wood 27" (measuring from the couch arm height, plus the 1.5" for the top frame support, minus .75" for the "feet", plus .5" for clearance and rounding up. It's important to measure the space between the floor and the couch- you want to be able to slide the table under the couch frame. (Mine was a scant 2", but 1 x boards (.75") worked fine.) The third consideration is the size of your top- the feet should be as long as the top minus 2". The width of the cherry determined my table top width and I cut the slab to a rectangle which I thought was the appropriate dimensions (16" wide x 24" long). If you're using wood you have on hand, you can make the top any size you want provided it won't become too heavy. I think something like butcher block would be too heavy for this style C-Table.
I like to sand all my cut pieces before putting them together. It's easier to get the little wood bits off.
Each "foot" was attached to a leg from the bottom with glue and counter sunk screws. Countersinking prevents the screws from scratching the floor and provides a strong joint. I attached the L-brackets at this joint about 1" in from the outside.
I ripped 1 x 2 (.75" x 1.5") wood strips from the gray wood to use as a support frame for the under side of the table top. The pieces were applied with glue and counter sunk screws. (I realized at some point that a 4th piece of framing was needed to add stability to the legs and added it, but forgot to take a photo. The frame piece was screwed and glued to the top and nailed through the leg. You can see the back brace in the finished photo.)
Two other L-brackets were then screwed to the legs and tabletop.
Since the gray board was stained and once it was cut the wood was raw, I diluted some gray paint I had on hand- paint to water ratio about 2 to 1. With a small brush, I stained any raw edges and any chips from the cut ends. With black craft paint, I camouflaged the silver screws on the L-brackets.
I used mineral oil to seal the top. That really brought out the beauty of the wood.
The feet were a little pigeon-toed so I added a block of wood to straighten them out and put felt pads on the bottom so it could glide when being moved. And that's it- easy-peasy! It's a quick, inexpensive project- fun to build and useful.
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