This is one of my favorite projects in my upcoming book, “Build Stuff With Wood.” This table can be stacked on its side to form a bookcase or even made a little shorter as a stool. It is based on an elegantly simple, multi-use piece from the Bauhaus movement in Germany.
To make it easier to build, I traded the traditional dovetails in the corners for a simple dowel jig from Rockler.com. And I found cool way to form tenons on the three big dowels that pass through the middle, using any router big or small. Still it’s the most complex project in the book, so I figured I’d roll it out here in parts.
Of course the book covers every last step, with lots of extra tips and tricks, but you can get the gist right here in these blog posts.
In this post, I’ll cover the all the drilling for the big and small dowels, starting with the dowel jig. Available at Rockler.com for just $15 the jig comes with the bit you need, plus a small stop collar that controls depth. I went with the 3/8-in. size, which is perfect for joining 3/4-in.-thick boards. And Rockler’s perfect-fitting dowel pins are just a few bucks more.
To make one table you need just one six-ft.-long pine board, sold as a 1×12 at home centers but actually about 3/4 in. by 11-1/4 in. Plus one 4-ft.-long, 1-in.-dia. dowel to make the three big spindles.
And you’ll need a bag of those 3/8-in. spiral dowel pins for the joints. They have a spiral groove that lets air and glue escape when you tap them into their hole.
So chop your boards to size however you want, and let’s get drilling!