DIY Packable X-Brace Table

DIY Packable X-Brace Table

DIY Packable X-Brace Table

Hey everyone, this is Susan from Mellowpine. Today we are going to show you how we built this X-brace table which can be dismantled and packed. You can put it together without any screw or bolt and take it apart easily as well. Although it has no screws, it is quite stable for everyday use.

We built this for a friend of ours and this project came out so well and we are super excited to share it with you all.

DIY Packable X brace Table
DIY Packable X brace Table
DIY Farmhouse Table

Here's how the assembly of the table works,

X Brace Table Plan- Assembly
X Brace Table Plan- Assembly
X Brace Table Plan- Assembly
X Brace Table Plan- Assembly

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Plan for Packable X-Brace Table

X Brace Table Plan
X Brace Table Plan

How to make the X-Brace Table

Please note the difference in dimension between nominal size and actual size. For e.g., 2 x 4 is the nominal size while 1-½" x 3-½" is the actual size. This is a standard convention.

There are four parts to this packable table. The two leg frame components, the table top component and the connecting bottom bracing piece (with dovetail).

In each leg frame, there are two x bracing pieces, two vertical pieces, one horizontal bracing piece at the top and a base piece at the bottom.

Since we have two legs for the table, we have to make each component above for both the legs.

Lumber for the table stacked
Lumber for the table stacked

Cutting the pieces for the leg frame

For the two vertical pieces, we took 2 x 4 lumber and made four pieces of length 24-¼” length.

Vertical Piece in the leg frame
Vertical Piece in the leg frame
Cutting the pieces for the table on the miter saw
Cutting the pieces for the table on the miter saw

For the top horizontal piece in the leg frame, we took 2 x 4 lumber and made two pieces of length 17” each.

Plan for the top horizontal piece in the leg frame
Plan for the top horizontal piece in the leg frame

For the base piece in the leg frame, we took 2 x 4 lumber and made two pieces of length 19” each.

Plan for base piece in the leg frame
Plan for base piece in the leg frame

Making the X-Brace

For the X bracing piece, we used 2 x 2  lumber. We had to miter the two edges and ensure it fits snug inside the rest of the leg frame. We had the choice of following the exact measurements or placing the piece on the frame and tracing the cut, we decided to go the second way. It’s more forgiving to go this route, especially when you have less margin for error.

X Brace Piece Plan
X Brace Piece Plan
X Brace Plan
X Brace Plan

To do this, first place the other pieces of the leg frame together (clamp it preferably), then place the X bracing diagonally on the frame.One edge of the bracing piece must just touch the  corner of the frame and the other edge must pass through the opposite corner as shown in the photo. Mark the triangular portion to be cut off from the bracing piece by tracing a pencil at the edge. This should be done for both edges of the X bracing. 

Marking the portion to be cut on the X brace piece
Marking the portion to be cut on the X brace piece
Marking the portion to be cut on the X brace piece
Marking the portion to be cut on the X brace piece

With the excess triangular part marked on all the four x brace pieces, we cut off the excess on the miter saw. Ideally the slant length of this slant should be 23-15/16".

X brace miter
X brace miter
Mitering the edge of the X brace
Mitering the edge of the X brace

Making the half-lap slot in the X-Brace

Next part was making the half-lap slot in the X bracing pieces. Even here, you have the choice of either just following the measurements with your eyes closed or trace the slots similar to the previous step.

So we placed one bracing inside the leg frame and clamped it. Then we placed the other X bracing frame on the opposite diagonal and clamped it as well. In this position,we traced the lines for the half-lap.

Lines traced for the half lap slot in the X brace pieces
Lines traced for the half lap slot in the X brace pieces

Once the lines were traced, we had to mark the depth up to which chiseling had to be done. We used the marking gauge to mark a depth of ¾" in each x bracing piece.

Marking ¾" depth in the bracing piece using marking gauge
Marking ¾" depth in the bracing piece using marking gauge

Before Chiseling, we made multiple cuts in each bracing piece, to make it easier to chisel. We used the circular saw in combination with the kreg accu-cut to do this.

Making cuts in the X brace before chiseling using circular saw
Making cuts in the X brace before chiseling using circular saw
Cuts in the X brace before chiseling
Cuts in the X brace before chiseling

Then we chiseled out the half-lap slots in the bracing pieces.

Chiseling the half lap slot in the X brace
Chiseling the half lap slot in the X brace
Chiseling the half lap slot in the X brace
Chiseling the half lap slot in the X brace
X brace pieces after cutting half-lap slots in them
X brace pieces after cutting half-lap slots in them

Checking dry-fit of the X-Brace

Then we tried a dry fit of the X brace pieces and they fit together well.

Dry Fit check for the X brace
Dry Fit check for the X brace
Dry Fit check for the X brace
Dry Fit check for the X brace

Before going ahead with the next step, we sanded all the pieces thoroughly up to 220 grit using the random orbital sander.

Sanding all the pieces up to 220 grit
Sanding all the pieces up to 220 grit

Making Pocket holes in the frame pieces

Then we made the pocket holes in the two vertical pieces of the leg frame with the kreg jig set at 1-½" material thickness. In the leg frame, only these two pieces are to be pocket holed, rest are joined using nails and wood glue.

Making pocket holes in the Vertical Pieces of the leg frame
Making pocket holes in the Vertical Pieces of the leg frame
pocket holes in the Vertical Pieces of the leg frame
pocket holes in the Vertical Pieces of the leg frame

Putting together the Leg Frame Pieces

Plan for leg frame component
Plan for leg frame component

Then we started putting the leg frame together. We first fitted the X bracing pieces together using a mallet.

Applying glue in the half lap slot
Applying glue in the half lap slot
Fitting the X Brace using mallet
Fitting the X Brace using mallet

Then we attached the two vertical pieces to the X bracing using wood glue and nails to hold it together until the glue cured.

making the leg frame
making the leg frame
making the leg frame
making the leg frame
making the leg frame by nailing after applying glue
making the leg frame by nailing after applying glue
Nailing the vertical piece to the X brace
making the leg frame by nailing after applying glue
Nailing the X brace
Nailing the X brace

Then we had to attach the base piece to this. We used wood screws from the base piece to the vertical piece to do this. We first drilled pilot holes, countersinked them and then drove screws of length 2-½" through them.

Marking the location to fix the leg frame on the base
Marking the location to fix the leg frame on the base
Marking the location to fix the leg frame on the base
Marking the location to fix the leg frame on the base
Drilling pocket holes in the base piece
Drilling pocket holes in the base piece
Countersinking the drill holes
Countersinking the drill holes
Applying wood glue before fixing the frame to the base piece
Applying wood glue before fixing the frame to the base piece
Driving the screw to join the base piece to the leg frame
Driving the screw to join the base piece to the leg frame

Then we had to join the top horizontal piece to this leg frame in the previous step. We drove pocket hole screws through the pocket hole which we drilled earlier after applying wood glue on the surface.

Using the right angle clamp to hold the pieces for driving in pocket hole screw
Using the right angle clamp to hold the pieces for driving in pocket hole screw
Driving pocket hole screws to join the top horizontal piece to the leg frame
Driving pocket hole screws to join the top horizontal piece to the leg frame

Making the Table Top and the Slot frame

Now we had to make the top piece. For this there is the panels that make up the top and the slot frame below it into which the legs are to be pushed in when assembling.

Plan for the table top component
Plan for the table top component

We cut out 2 pieces of length 42” from 1 x 12 (nominal size) board using circular saw to make the panel.

Table top panel plan
Table top panel plan
Making the top panel pieces for the table
Making the top panel pieces for the table

Wood Burning the Table Top Panel

We then had to burn the wood pieces to achieve a dark burned finish. We torched the panels and brushed with wire brush.

Burning the panel pieces
Burning the panel pieces
Panel pieces for the table
Panel pieces for the table

Making the Slot Frame

We first made two pieces of length 32” and four pieces of length 17” from 2 x 3 lumber for the slot frame. 

Plan for the table top component
Plan for the table top component
Plan for short piece in the slot frame on the table top
Plan for short piece in the slot frame on the table top
Plan for long piece in the slot frame
Plan for long piece in the slot frame
Making the slot frame pieces
Making the slot frame pieces

Joining the Table Top Pieces

For this first we made pocket holes on these slot frame pieces as per plan.

Drilling the pocket holes in the short pieces of the slot frame as per plan
Drilling the pocket holes in the short pieces of the slot frame as per plan

Then we marked the location of the slot frame pieces on the panel as per plan.

Marking the location of the slot frame on the panel
Marking the location of the slot frame on the panel

We attached the four shorter slot frame pieces to the table top using 2" pocket hole screws and wood glue. You don’t need to clamp the panels of the top piece separately as these slot frame pieces will hold the panel together. We applied wood glue on the edge of the panel pieces before doing this step.

Applying glue in between the panel pieces before putting them together with the shorter slot frame pieces
Applying glue in between the panel pieces before putting them together with the shorter slot frame pieces
Fixing the shorter pieces of the slot frame
Fixing the shorter pieces of the slot frame
Fixing the shorter pieces of the slot frame
Fixing the shorter pieces of the slot frame
Fixing the shorter pieces of the slot frame
Fixing the shorter pieces of the slot frame

Then we placed the side pieces of the slot frame of length 32” each and then nailed it to the shorter slot frame pieces, after applying wood glue.

Fixing the long pieces of the slot frame to the slot frame
Fixing the long pieces of the slot frame to the slot frame
Fixing the long pieces of the slot frame to the slot frame
Fixing the long pieces of the slot frame to the slot frame

With this step, the table top component was ready. At this point, both the legs, and the top piece was ready. Only the bracing piece at the bottom was pending. 

Making the bottom bracing piece (dovetail)

We made the bracing piece from 2 x 3 lumber as per the plan. We traced the outline of the shape of the dovetail and cut out the excess with a jig saw.

Bottom Dovetail Brace Plan
Bottom Dovetail Brace Plan
Marking the shape of the dovetail on the bottom bracing piece
Marking the shape of the dovetail on the bottom bracing piece
Cutting the dovetail on the bottom bracing piece
Cutting the dovetail on the bottom bracing piece
Bottom Bracing piece dovetail
Bottom Bracing piece dovetail

Next we made the slots for the dovetail on the leg frame as well by tracing the slot with the bottom bracing piece as reference.

Marking the dovetail slot using the bracing piece as reference.
Marking the dovetail slot using the bracing piece as reference.
Making the dovetail slot using a chisel
Making the dovetail slot using a chisel
dovetail slot in the leg frame base
dovetail slot in the leg frame base
Checking fit of the bottom horizontal brace
Checking fit of the bottom horizontal brace

Finishing the X-Brace Table

After this we stained the entire table except the top panel with teak oil. We applied water based PU for the panel.

Staining with teak oil
Staining with teak oil
Staining with teak oil
Staining with teak oil
Staining with teak oil
Staining with teak oil
DIY Packable X Brace Table

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About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to MellowPine. We play around with basic woodworking projects, home improvement ideas, and decor for you to try out.

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