Introduction

a 3-tiered side table
Photo: Wendell t. Webber
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Any couch potato knows that a handy side table is an essential ally for a lazy Sunday morning. You won't even have to get off your duff for very long to make the one shown here, thanks to a clever design by This Old House general contractor Tom Silva. He reimagined wood panels from an art-supply store as table surfaces, with two flipped upside down and the top one right-side up for a tray-like appearance, and connected them with turned legs to create this airy yet sturdy piece. With three easy-access surfaces for stashing odds and ends, you'll have no excuse for losing the remote in the sofa cushions ever again.

Panels: 12-by-16-inch Artists' Wood Panels, $14 each; Utrecht Art Supplies
Legs (similar to shown): Waddell 6-inch Pine Traditional Wood Table Legs, $2.98 each; Lowe's
Paint (similar to shown): Behr's English Channel; Behr
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • locking pliers
      Locking pliers
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 1/4-inch drill bit
      1/4-inch drill bit
    • 3/32-inch drill bit
      3/32-inch drill bit
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • paintbrushes
      Paintbrushes

    Shopping List

    Artists' wood panels, by 12 by 16 inches Get three.

    Table legs, 6 to 8 inches long Get twelve.

    5/16-by-2½-inch wood-to-wood dowel screws Get eight.

    2½-inch deck screws Get four.
    ¼-inch wood dowel for plugs Get one 3-foot section.

    Wood glue

    Wood filler

    220-grit sandpaper

    Primer and paint of your choice