Barrel head table

No set of patio furniture is complete without a side table, and that's just as true for our beautiful wine-barrel chairs as tacky plastic sets from Ikea. So here's how to make a table that'll fit right in with your chairs. It'll take a couple of hours to make, and requires these tools and materials:
  1. Barrel head
  2. Two matching staves
  3. Three L-brackets
  4. Screws for the brackets
  5. Pocket screw kit
  6. Drill
  7. Sander with sand paper
  8. Finish

Make the tabletop

The first step here is to make the tabletop, following the instructions for making a serving tray. In those instruction I mention the various changes you make from the tray when you're building a table instead, but briefly they are that you don't need to sand it as fine, and you'll want to use an outdoor finish instead of food-safe mineral oil. All right, now that that's done we'll make the legs and put them on.

Put on the legs

You'll need to pick out two staves to be legs. I picked thin ones that are about the same width and are exactly the same length. Then mark the centers and cut them in half. You can finish them now or finish the whole table at once after it's assembled, both good options. Either way, now we'll attach the brackets to the legs. I did this by getting hard, flat surface, and putting both the leg's cut side and the bracket down on it with the bracket touching the leg's exterior (non-wine-stained) side. Then I marked the holes, drilled them out, and screwed the bracket on. There may be a better way to do this, feel free to come up with one.

Now we need to figure out where to put the legs on the table. This process is trisecting a circle, and while there are plenty of written descriptions of this online, I made a you picture:

So you find the center and draw a line from one edge to the center, and mark the opposite edge. Then from that mark sweep out a circle with the same radius as the barrel head, (using a ruler or tape measure or some string, whatever you have handy), and mark where that circle intersects the edges of the head. Then connect those marks to the center. Those 3 lines are the center lines for the bracket.

Pick a convenient distance in from the edge to put the legs and mark it on each line. The exact distance will vary depending on your barrel, I've aimed for 2 inches. Center the leg assemblies on the lines, mark the holes, drill them out, screw the brackets in, and erase your marks.

Now you've probably noticed that, while you technically have a table, it's pretty wobbly. That's where the pocket screws come in. Just add a couple to each leg, like below:

With those in the table should be sturdy and ready for use!