A sturdy, easy-to-stow sidekick for great outdoor cooking.
Go right to the top
1 Cut parts A–D [Materials List, Drawing 1]. Glue and clamp the rails and hinge blocks (A–C) together. Check the assembly for square. After the glue dries, drill pilot holes and drive in screws.
2 Glue the filler blocks (D) in place on one end of the A–C assembly.
3 Cut the top slats (E) and attach them to the short rails (B), evenly spaced, with screws and glue. Finish-sand the top.
Give it legs to stand on
1 Cut the legs (F) and leg rails (G) [Drawing 2]. Glue and clamp the rails between the legs. After the glue dries, drill pilot holes, and drive in the screws. Finish-sand the assemblies.
2 Attach a stainless steel continuous hinge to the inside face of the top rail on one leg and the outside face on the other [Exploded View, Photo A].
3 Screw the leg hinges to the hinge blocks (C) [Photos B, C]. Test the legs to make sure they fold and unfold without interference and sit neatly inside the top [Photo D].
Add the shelf
1 Cut shelf parts H–K to size [Drawing 3]. Glue and screw the slats (H) to the shelf end rails (I), spacing the slats evenly and keeping the slat ends flush with the rails.
2 Assemble rails J and K with screws and glue, checking the assembly for square. Finish-sand it. Attach the rail assembly to the bottom of the H/I assembly, centering it between the end rails (I). Finish-sand the H/I assembly.
Finish it up
Remove the legs for ease of finishing. Touch up the sanding as needed, and apply several coats of a durable outdoor finish. (We used General Finishes Exterior 450 Topcoat, flat sheen, a waterborne clear exterior finish. Any
finish rated for outdoor exposure would work.) Then, reattach the legs and put a cookout on the calendar. Stow the table by folding the legs and nesting the shelf over them [photo, page 31].
Tip! Drill pilot holes for the hinge screws with a self-centering bit, such as the Snappy hinge bit for #5 and #6 screws (no. 45107, Woodcraft, 800-535-4482 or woodcraft.com). Note: Before you permanently assemble rails J and K and attach them to the shelf, make sure the spaces between the end rails (I) and the shelf short rails (K) slip over the leg rails (G) [Exploded View].
B Center a leg assembly (F/G) on the top assembly (A–E) at the end of the top with the filler blocks (D). Drive the hinge screws into the bottom face of the hinge block (C).
A Fold the hinge leaves over the edge of the leg rail (G) for positioning, which is the same on both leg assemblies. The side of the hinge leaf with countersunk screw holes faces up.
D The legs overlap as they fold into the top, allowing room for the shelf assembly (H–K) to sit upside down in the space on top of the legs for compact storage.
C At the other end of the top, center the remaining leg assembly between the table long rails (A). Screw the hinge to the inside face of the hinge block.