The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Limbert end table

The September 2015 issue of Wood magazine contains plans for a Limbert style end table.

I like the look of this design, and decided to build one. I entered the design into Google Sketchup.........


The plans call for using figure 8 table top fasteners. I have not used these before, but will try them on this project. I bought a supply of them from


Red oak from Menards will be used for this project.

 Bit Used to Route shape to Pattern

I used this 1/4" shank flush trimming router bit to trim the shape to the pattern.



Pattern for the Legs

I made the pattern from 3/16" luan.  I printed out a yellow colored paper pattern from Google Sketchup, then white Elmer glued it to the Luan.



Gluing up the Blank for the 1st Leg

I glued up 2 pieces of red oak for the 1st leg.



Using Double-sided tape to attach the pattern to the blank



Routing the 1st Leg using the template

The 1st Finished Leg

I sanded this leg with 220 grit using the drill press and drum sander.  I hand sanded the large flat surfaces.  I finish sand each piece before I do the final assembly.....versus final sanding after assembly...which Is more difficult.

 Making the Shelf

I decided to make a template for the shelf. I used 1/4" particle board for the template. Here is the template with the sticky tape applied.......

 I sawed a square blank, and applied the template.  I took it to the band saw to remove the corners, but I left at least 1/16" for the router flush bit to clean up.

Then I took the shelf to the router table with the flush trim bit......

And here is the finished shelf.

Next is a rough assembly to check the fits.  I had to scroll saw some of the notches so everything fit correctly.

Because the legs are doweled together, I had find my Sears dowel tools that I bought clear back in 1979 :)

I usually use 3/8" diameter dowels in 3/4 stock, but the plans called for 5/16" diameter, so I stuck to the plan.  I had to special order 5/16" dowel rod because my local Ace hardware store in Fairbury does not stock it.

 Because 2 of the legs attach to the first 2 legs, you have to mark and drill through the first set of legs to attach the 2nd..........

It took a while to get all the dowel work done.  I had to enlarge the dowel holes to give enough slop to line up everything ok.  I have to do this on every dowel project, so not a surprise.

I did the final assembly with the table upside down.  I followed the plans advice and sawed off short pieces from the angled leg scrap make cawls for the clamps.

And here is the clamped and glued table right side up.......

Table Top

The plans call for a 24 inch diameter top, 1.5 inches thick.  My red oak is 72 inches long, so I will make top slightly less than 24 inches, so I can get 3 pieces out of each 72 inch long board.

I also have to glue up 2 thicknesses of standard 3/4" thickness, to get the 1.5" thick top.  Boy, this eats up a lot of red oak!!

Here are the blanks glued up and clamped. I used yellow Titebond glue, because this takes a lot of glue, and I am in no big hurry. Nexabond CA glue is nice, but relatively expensive.



 Special Router Jig for routing 24 inch table top

The plans suggest building a special jig for this project.  To get 24 inch OD, I would have to build something special anyway, so I decided to try out the suggestion.  Here is some pictures of my special jig, using 3/4" diameter carbide bit......



 Making the Table Top

After the blanks were dried, I used the belt sander to remove the height differences at the glue joints.  I mark each joint with pencil, then I know I am done when the pencil marks are gone.  I wish I knew a faster way to do this operation!

I sure have got my money's worth from the cheap Harbor Freight belt sander that I have used for many, many hours of sanding.

 Now, I applied glue to the bottom piece.  I made sure the glue joints on each board do not directly overlap, to give more strength to the top.





I have some deep c-clamps, which come in handy for this type of work :)

 Sawing the 24 Inch OD Table Top

I marked the 24 inch OD using a special wooden yard stick compass kit.




 Routing the Table Top

The new special jig with the sliding notch worked pretty well. I drilled a 1/4" hole and inserted a short piece of dowel rod. I used a 3/4" diameter carbide bit.

Everything was going fine using the new jig, except I ran out of bit length on the standard 3/4" carbide bit!  I had about a1/4" thick ring  left to take out.

So, I switched to the flush trim bit on the router table.  I used the already completed OD as the guide on the bearing...

I used my Dremel with a drum sander to remove any burn marks on the OD. I also rounded over the top and bottom edges with an 1/8" round-over bit.  I sanded the top to 220 grit also.

I used a 3/4" Forstner bit to drill a shallow hole to mount each of the 4 S connectors in the bottom of the table:



Completed Table before Finishing Treatments


I used Spanish Oak stain on this project, to match the previous sofa table I made.




I sat the table on my table saw to make sure it set flat and level.  I belt sanded a little off the legs so it sat down perfectly flat on the table saw bed.

 Table Stained


 Grain Filler

I used Behlen's grain filler on lower shelf, and the table top. I like the mirror finish it gives on table tops.


 Here is the grain filler dried after setting overnight. It looks whitish in the photo. I stain it again and the grain filler matches the red oak fine.




The Finished Table


Closing Thoughts

There is a lot more work involved with making this table than you think, just looking at it.  It takes a while to saw and route the 4 legs to a template pattern. It also takes a while to dowel the legs together.

It is a good tip to hit the top with the belt sander with the grain, once you are done sanding it.  This removes any angled scratch marks, if you had to belt sand at a 45 degree angle to the grain.

All in all, it turned out to be a nice looking table.















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