Tile-Topped Outdoor Table Oconomowoc WI
Menomonee Falls, WI
Tile-Topped Outdoor Table
Tile-Topped Outdoor Table
This sturdy white-oak table will last a lifetime and won’t blow over in the wind.
by Jock and Susan Holmen
If you love lounging on your deck and need a solid side table to hold your cool drink and snacks, here’s the solution. We designed this stylish side table to be simple to build. It’s made of white oak and finished with an outdoor stain, so it’s sure to handle the weather. The ceramic-tile top provides a durable maintenance-free accent.
Before you Start
Buy your ceramic tile before you build this table, because the actual size of tiles can vary. We purchased a single 12-in.-square x 1/4-in.-thick ceramic tile at our local home center. The actual size was closer to 11-7/8-in. square. The tile is undersize to allow a grout joint in normal applications, but the amount can vary. We used white oak for its natural resistance to rot (see Sources, below). Other wood, such as mahogany, teak, cedar or ipe, will also withstand the elements.
Taper the Legs
Start by sawing the 8/4 lumber for the legs (A) 1/8-in. oversize (Photo 1). Then joint, plane and cut to the final size (see Cutting List, below).
Next, mark an X at the top of two adjacent sides on each leg. These two marked sides will be tapered. Use these Xs to help you keep track of the tapers. The tapers are subtle and it’s possible to confuse them with the untapered outer sides (see Oops! page 64). Also, the legs are untapered where they join the aprons (B, Fig. A, below).
Mark lines for the tapers on each leg and saw the taper on the bandsaw (Photo 2). Stay about 1/16 in. away from your pencil line. After the first taper is cut, reattach scrap with masking tape and cut the second taper. Remove the bandsaw marks with a pass or two over your jointer (Photo 3).
Cutting the Double Biscuit Slots
Using spacers makes easy and accurate work out of cutting the double biscuit slots in the legs. This setup works with any biscuit joiner and the only measuring you need to do is to locate the center of the slot down from the top of the legs (Fig. A). Make sure to cut the biscuit slots in the legs with the adjacent taper down (Photos 4 and 5).
Make the Aprons
Cut the aprons (B) to final size. Cut the decorative groove on the bottom outside face (Fig. A) on your tablesaw using a standard 1/8-in. kerf saw blade. The groove is also a handy way to keep track of the outside face of the aprons during the upcoming biscuit-cutting steps. With the decorative groove facing down, cut the double biscuit slots in the ends of the aprons. Cut the first slot without any spacer and the second one with a 3/8-in. spacer (Photos 6 and 7).
Assemble the Base
First make two leg assemblies by gluing two legs and one apron together, then the other two legs and an apron (Photo 8). Make sure the decorative groove on the apron is facing out. Use an exterior glue for this project (see Sources, page 64). After ...