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Big enough for the whole clan and costs less than $200!

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Introduction

When the Vikings of yore built something—a longboat, a lodge, even a drinking horn—it was sturdy and simple, functional yet attractive. This table fits that mold. It’s big, rock-solid and buildable with basic tools, yet it has a certain elegance to it.

Tools Required

  1. Belt sander
  2. Circular saw
  3. clamps and basic hand tools
  4. Drill
  5. Jigsaw
  6. Router

The Viking Table

This style of viking table is known as a drawbore trestle. The “trestle” is the stretcher that connects the legs, and “drawbore” refers to the “bored” mortises and tenons that “draw” the legs and trestle tightly together to create a stable base.

You can easily shorten (and lighten) your table by modifying the dimensions given. The benches that accompany this table are built using the same template and same basic procedures. Check out the heavy-duty viking bench project directions here. If you’re thinking of building both the table and the bench, consider starting with the bench; it’s a great warm-up for the larger viking table project. Or check out our top 10 woodworking projects.

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It’s “Knockdowable”!

The viking table, built as shown, is enormous— long, wide and weighty. But by removing two wedges and eight screws, you can separate the legs, tabletop and trestle so you can store the table for the winter or move it to a different location.

Pick the right wood

If you’re building this viking table for inside use, you can use everyday dimensional lumber or more expensive hardwoods. But if it will be used outside, consider one of the following weather-resistant options:

Cedar, Redwood or Cypress

One of these “premium” exterior woods is most likely available in your area. Select boards with the most heartwood— the darker inside part of the tree, which is more durable than the lighter colored sapwood. The downside? These woods can be wickedly expensive and, in some cases, soft.

Treated Lumber

It’s moderately priced and stands up well to weather, but it’s often wet from the treatment process, which means it’s more likely to shrink and twist, and less likely to glue up well. It’s also difficult to apply a good-looking finish until the wood fully dries.

Douglas Fir

This is the wood we used. It’s more expensive than the more widely available “standard” dimensional lumber—often labeled H-F, S-P-F or “white wood”—but cheaper than the premium woods. It’s about 20 percent harder, and stronger, heavier and more moisture resistant than standard lumber. Not all home centers and lumberyards stock Douglas fir; look for the “Doug Fir” or “DF” stamp. If in doubt, ask. In our area, Lowe’s and contractor lumberyards carry Douglas fir.

White Oak

We used white oak for the feet, the breadboard ends and the wedges. Other woods would work fine, but we liked the extra strength, hardness and contrast the white oak provided in these critical pieces. Red oak, the type you’ll often find the 1 last update 2020/05/27 at home centers, isn’t a good substitute, since it’s much more prone to rot. You can find white oak at specialty woodworking stores and online.We used white oak for the feet, the breadboard ends and the wedges. Other woods would work fine, but we liked the extra strength, hardness and contrast the white oak provided in these critical pieces. Red oak, the type you’ll often find at home centers, isn’t a good substitute, since it’s much more prone to rot. You can find white oak at specialty woodworking stores and online.

Project Directions:

Douglass fir tables are extremely durable, and after four years all we had to do was give it a quick sanding and a coat of Cabot Australian Timber Oil every spring and cover it with a tarp during the tough Minnesota winters. The table remains as beautiful as it was on the day it was made.

Take your time at the lumberyard (check out our lumber yard guide) selecting flat, straight boards free of split ends, twists, cupping and loose knots—you’ll spare yourself a lot of clamping and cussing down the road. If you have trouble finding perfect 2x12s, purchase an extra board—or longer boards and cut around the defects.
Cut your boards into eight 22-in.-long pieces; make sure the ends are square. Pair up your boards so when one is laid atop the other, there’s little or no gap along the ends and edges. If you flip or rotate the boards, sometimes you’ll find the perfect fit. Try to have any defects fall in the areas of the wood you’ll be cutting away as you form the legs.

Project step-by-step (14)

Step 1

Make the Leg Template

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Mark out your leg template onto 1/4-in. plywood as shown above.  Set another scrap piece of plywood against the template. Drive a screw 9-1/4 in. from the end of the scrap and use that screw as a pivot point for your tape measure. Then swing the two arcs to create the leg shape. Cut just outside the line with a finetooth jigsaw blade, then use a belt sander to sand right up to the line. Use your template to trace the leg shape onto two leg sections, which breaks down to eight separate leg pieces (Labeled "", in Figure B in Project PDF''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,250]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[320,50],[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[728,90],[640,360],[3,3],[300,250]],"":[[970,250],[970,90],[728,90],[3,3],[300,250]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,250],[300,600]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[320,50],[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[728,90],[640,360],[3,3],[300,250]],"":[[970,250],[970,90],[728,90],[3,3],[300,250]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,1050],[300,600],[300,250],[160,600]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,1050],[300,600],[300,250],[160,600]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[320,50],[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[728,90],[640,360],[3,3],[300,250]],"":[[970,250],[970,90],[728,90],[3,3],[300,250]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,1050],[300,600],[300,250],[160,600]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''{"":[[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[320,50],[300,250],[3,3]],"":[[728,90],[640,360],[3,3],[300,250]],"":[[970,250],[970,90],[728,90],[3,3],[300,250]]}''{"":"","":"","":""}''s below), but your length will most likely differ.
There are a few key measurements you need to get right in order for your stretcher and drawbore wedges to do their jobs.

  • The shoulder measurement. This is the distance between leg assemblies. This distance is key because the  shoulders hold the leg assemblies the right distance apart and ”wiggle-proof” the table.
  • The tenon length and width. The tenon extends 7 in. past the shoulder and should be 5-1/2 in. wide.
  • The mortise cutout. The cutout is centered on the tenon and is 5/8 in. wide and 2-1/2 in. long. The edge of the mortise near the outside of the leg should be inset into the leg by about 1/8 in. so that when the wedge is installed, it will draw the shoulder tightly against the leg. When done properly, this joint is amazingly strong, so take your time to get it sized and positioned just right.

Table Saw Tips and Tricks

Step 11

Layout and Cut the Stretcher

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With all of this in mind, make the stretcher. Once you’ve marked the key stretcher length, tenon and mortise measurements, bend a thin piece of wood to create the arched bottom of the stretcher. Use a jigsaw to cut out the parts. Drill 5/8-in. starter holes in each end of the 2-1/2-in.-long mortises to give your jigsaw an entry point.

Table Saw Tips and Techniques

Step 12

Install the Stretcher and Wedge it Tight

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To make your wedges (L), first cut a 3/4-in. board 24 in. long, then rip it 2-1/4 in. wide. Use a belt sander to taper each end of the board, then cut them to their final 7-in. length and soften the edges.

Separate the legs and install the stretcher. Drive the wedges into place as shown above. The screw driven through the end of the tenon helps reinforce it to prevent the wedge from blowing out the end of the tenon when driven in tightly.

13 Dirt-Simple Woodworking Jigs You Need

Step 13

Screw the Leg Assemblies to the Braces

Once the stretcher and legs are locked together, secure the leg assemblies to the tabletop crosspieces (Photo above).  Center the leg assemblies on the end braces. Drill oversize holes through the leg plates, then secure the legs to the top with washer-head screws.

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Stone-Top Patio Table

Step 14

Finishing Up

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Sand and smooth out any rough areas, then apply your exterior finish. You now have a beautifully built viking table!

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Want more wood working projects? Check out these 15 amazing woodworking projects to try.

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Project PDFs

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Click the links below to download the materials and cutting lists for this project, as well as Figure A and B.

Figure A & B, Cutting List and Materials List 

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