How to Build a
Rustic Console Table

by Alex Merrill

Project Preface

This project has quite a few steps to it, so we’ve added a video tutorial to give you lots of visuals. It is not a hard project, but it does take lots of patience and precision in measuring your cuts. Check, check, and triple check your measurements and angles!

Project Variations

As much as we would like to, we cannot take credit for this project idea (thanks Remodelaholic!).  We generally followed these plans as we went, however we did make a few modifications to measurements and style. Ultimately, these are the changes we made:

1. Angle of X legs: we liked a slimmer look for the legs so we changed it to a 22.5 degree angle.
2. Dowels instead of screws: this step made this project most complicated, but we think it was worth it! For an easier/quicker project, use screws instead.
3. Measurements: see instructions below for details.


Cutting the X legs

Supplies: 1x6x6′ boards (2)

1. Cut 1x6 in quarters: miter saw cut in half length-wise, then table saw rip in half width-wise.
2. Cut 22.5 degree angle (on one end)
3. Cut 22.5 degree angle (on other end): measure and mark 32.5″ from the long point on the edge; this is the short point of the second 22.5 degree cut
4. Prep half-lap joint: pull tape measure from each long point, mark the middle of each side at 16.25″. Strike a 45 degree line from each mark (the two lines should be parallel). Hold the boards together to visualize and double check orientations before cutting.
5. Cut lines of half-lap joint to 1/2 of board thickness (3/8″ deep) on miter saw
6. Use router set with mortise bit at 3/8″ depth to gut joint.

You will need (8) legs.

Cutting the blocking

Supplies: 1x6x4′ board (1)

1. Cut 1x6 to 11 3/8″ length on miter saw
2. Rip each 11 3/8″ piece into 1 3/4″ strips on table saw

You will need (10) pieces that are 1 3/4″ by 11 3/8″.

Inserting the dowels

Supplies: 3/8″x48″ dowels (2)

1. Use clamps to assemble X legs
2. Place temporary supports at 2 1/4″ from top and clamp
3. Mark (2) holes 1 7/8″ from top for drilling, either side of center
4. Secure blocking between X legs and clamp
5. Drill holes for dowels: first 3/16″ bit, then 3/8″ wood bit
6. Fill hole with wood glue
7. Insert dowel to full depth and saw off remainder


Finishing touches

Supplies: 2x12x8′ (1), 1x12x8′ (1)

1. Cut shelves to desired length (ours are 4′ long)
2. Sand edges of X legs and shelves to soften appearance
3. Apply stain to X legs and shelves: we used two different stain colors to differentiate the two — Varathane Dark Walnut for shelves; Kona for X legs. For a more distressed look, you can sand after staining to add an extra touch. 

Check out how to apply stain here!


Prices are approximate, and not all of each product was used.

Wood (“Common Board” from Home Depot): $50
Varathane Wood Stain (2 quarts): $18
3/8″ Dowels: $3

Total: $71

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