In the past few weeks, I have wasted way too much time cruising CB2, West Elm, Wayfair, and other such furniture sites online for pieces for our new place.  Amazingly, none of them had the exact furniture that fit what I had in mind for the house.

Our entryway has a nook that’s the perfect space for an entryway/console table.  For B, who parks out front, it’s a drop off point for keys, mail, and whatever else he keeps in his pockets.  However, it is a bit tricky as the width of the space is smaller - we found - than the typical entryway table.  After one evening and searching for three hours online together, B and I gave up and decided to just build one.  We built a headboard in three hours, how difficult could a little console table be?  I quickly found a few plans on Ana White’s site, and we modified one of them for the dimensions that we wanted.  Both B and I wanted the table a little shorter (to fit into the nook) and a little taller than Ana had hers.

We spent over 30 minutes on the cut list and mock up to make sure there wouldn’t be multiple trips to the hardware store and that we had gotten the measurements and dimensions correct.  At Home Depot, we learned from our previous experience and looked for the least warped pieces of wood and also bought a higher quality New Zealand pine than the plain pine boards we bought last time.  We appropriately christened the project our hobbit table.

At B’s insistence, we cut our wood pieces to size in the front yard, which was admittedly way easier to clean up than sweeping sawdust from the garage (a lot hotter than the garage as well).  Again, instead of using proper sawhorses, we used a step stool and the handy dandy Yeti cooler.  Someday we’re going to get the correct equipment (probably when we have a storage space for all that crap).

#1 most important tip out of the entire project: 1x2, 1x3, 1x4 and 1x12 boards are NOT that width.  Measure those pieces and take that into account in the dimensions for your furniture.  We had to tear apart the legs because they were set too wide apart for our 1x12 table top, which didn’t end up measuring 1x12.

Before we tore them apart to make them skinnier
Tip #2: Get your grubby DIY mitts on the right equipment (this doesn’t mean you have to buy all the equipment).  We bought a skill saw for the headboard project in January.  The most critical component is in the name.  Freehand sawing a straight edge requires a lot of skill.  Needless to say, our hobbit table was wobbly after it was all put together.  We did a LOT of sanding and finally B went at it with a metal file and evened out the legs.  Chop saws and table saws are more expensive and more importantly, we don’t have room in our one-car garage for a complete woodworking workshop, but they would’ve made everything easier and more precise.  I plan on borrowing a chop saw from my dad for our next project.

Maybe we should get an orbital sander too?
Tip #3: “A little wood glue goes a long way.”  Listen to your boyfriend when he says that right before you start to glue pieces together.  The mistake I made last time and the first mistake I made this time was using too much wood glue.  It leaked out the edges and created a goopy mess out of the first piece I glued together (one of the legs).  We also made the mistake of not sanding the glue off so the wood stain looks funky on that particular leg.  Default to less glue, rather than more and you won’t end up dripping it all over the place.  Also get a tarp (or use an old shower curtain liner).  It saves a ton of time in clean up.

B and I cobbled the hobbit table together in a single Sunday afternoon.  And were sore all over the next day.  Who knew that woodworking was good exercise (or that we are so out of shape)?

The table has one single coat in a medium stain to match the rest of the furniture.  We are also planning on clear coating the table to make sure it survives the inevitable scratches from keys and other random junk.  And there you have it - voila!  An entryway / console hobbit table built by yours truly for less than a quarter of the cost to buy one!

Next project: Adirondack chairs for our yard???