The two become one

Before we put the top and the frame together on our tabouret, some things will be vastly easier if we undertake them before they’re a unit.

The most structurally important is to “evel” our legs.  It’s a two-part process.  First, we level the legs.  A tippy table is no fun to set a drink on.  So we go round and round, taking a bit off here and a bit off there.  Eventually, it will stand squarely.  Or you’ll go insane.  One or the other.  Do be sure that you aren’t gauging the quality of your levelling on an uneven surface.  Once the table stands level, we then have to bevel the corner where the legs meet the floor.  If we don’t make a small bevel here, it will splinter off bits of that corner when you scoot it.  It’s really quite curious how such a small thing can be so important in use.

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It will be easier to clean up any glue and get everything sanded on your framework before the top is on as well.  There’s no extensive joinery involved from here, so your bottom frame shouldn’t receive any bashing in the interim.

Once you are finally ready to attach the top, pre-drill the holes in your top stretchers.  You should have five countersunk holes, one in each stretcher and the very middle.  BE SURE you elongate the holes on the stretchers what will see movement (wood doesn’t get longer, only wider).  Once the holes are ready, you can use an awl through the holes to mark the top, after you’ve labouriously ensured that the frame is quite centred on the top.  Then, you can drill the top to receive the screws.  Or you could use a right-angle attachment on a cordless drill.  Either way, BE SURE that you have some sort of depth stop in place so that you don’t inadvertently drill too deeply and come out the top.  It will be quite infuriating.  Go ahead, ask me how I know this…

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Finally, insert your screws and tighten them down.  Just like on a car tyre, you should tighten them in sequence.  You don’t have to clock your screws (keeping the slots aligned) unless you’ve got a touch of OCD like me.  Then you probably have to.

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So now our tabouret is assembled!  Enjoy your feast tomorrow, and we’ll come back to this after the tryptophan wears off.

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