How to Make Table for Two Resurrects a PopMech Classic

Make Table for Two Resurrects a PopMech Classic: We found this single-unit lunch table in the 1939 book Popular Mechanics. Its mid-century modern styling caught our attention, but it needs updating. Some changes, such as adding contours to the tabletop, allowed us to reduce its size and make it more practical for today’s lifestyle. The result is a compact table for two that is ideal for an afternoon snack or evening drinks.

Read More: How to Make the Ultimate Mobile Workbench

The shopping list is short and frugal, and you can build this table in a day. But that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on design. For a contemporary look, use kiln-dried cedar for the supporting structure and add hardwood edging to the contrasting walnut-covered plywood.

Provides lumbar support.

Begin by cross-cutting the 2 x 4 lumber to size according to the materials listed on the following page. Cut off any factory ends, which are often rough, cracked, and dirty. To get the most out of your wood, cut the longest sections (the stretcher and apron) first, and work your way down to the shortest sections (the tabletop).

Use a No. 8 countersink bit to drill four holes in each leg. Place two holes ¾ inch from the top and ¾ inch from each edge. Place the other two 6¾ inches from the bottom and ¾ inch from each edge [1]. Clip the legs to the cross braces, and do a 3-in drive. Screw in each hole [2].

On the stretcher, mark two mortises 1½ inches wide by 1¾ inches deep and positioned 18 inches from each end. Drill a relief hole in one corner, then cut out the mortise using a jigsaw [3]. Cut a tenon 1½ inches long and 1¾ inches wide to fit the mortises on one end of each table.

Use a table saw with a straight, dado stake on the other end of each table so that the rabbet is ¾ inch deep by 3½ inches long [4]. Cut a matching rabbet on one end of each table support to create a half-lap joint [5]. If you don’t have a dado stake, make relief cuts with a miter saw or handsaw, and remove the waste with a chisel. On the other end of these pieces, make a 45-degree cut 1 inch below the top edge. To complete the table support subassemblies, glue the pieces together at right angles and fasten with four evenly spaced, 1¼-in. countersunk screws [6].

How to Make Table for Two Resurrects a PopMech Classic

Spread glue on the tops of the tabletop and insert them into the mortises of the stretcher [7]. Clamp and fasten them with a 3-in. countersunk screws. Attach the apron to this assembly by first spreading glue along the edge of the apron and then running six 3-in. Patches on top of the stretcher and apron. Place the screws within 12 inches of each end to ensure they will be hidden by the benches.

Attach the table-apron assembly to the leg assemblies by driving four 2 1⁄2-in. Countersunk screws through the apron in the legs.

Plywood surfaces.

Use a circular saw to make angled cuts in the plywood blanks above.

Clamp the straight edge of the plywood to guide the saw and keep your cut straight. To prevent the plywood from peeling off, apply blue masking tape to the top surface [8].

For edges, rip 4⁄4 hardwood stock into 3⁄8-in. Use a miter saw or handsaw to cut the strips to size. You can overlap the pieces or miter them at the corners. Glue and nail them in place, making them slightly proud of the surfaces. After the glue dries, trim the excess with a router and flush the trim bit [9].

Fasten each bench to the leg assembly by placing a clamp and driving three 2-in. Screw through the stretcher and onto the underside of the bench.

Attach the plywood table top with 1¼-in. Pocket patch. Clamp the Craig Jig to each table support, and drill two holes inside each support [10].

Finishing Up

Apply a small amount of glue to all visible countersink holes. Plug the holes with a 3⁄8-in. wood plugs, tap them gently, and after the glue dries, trim the flush plugs with a flush cutting saw. Sand the table with 120-grit paper, followed by 180-grit paper. Apply two coats of clear polyurethane, sanding lightly with 220-grit paper between each coat.

How do you set up a dinner table?

Place the dinner plate in the center of the table setting. The fork is placed to the left of the plate. Place the knife to the right of the dinner plate and then set the spoon to the right of the knife. Set the water glass in the top right corner, above the knife.

How much is a good kitchen table?

A simple solid top table, like the Sarah Solid Top Table, will start around $1,039. A luxe, high-end option like the Weston Table with an extra thick top starts at $2,249. The price of an extension table will vary depending on size, quality, and wood type. The Saber Leg Table with a leaf is $1,389

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