Step 1: Make the Legs

Start with an 18-inch length of 5/4x6 oak ($3.60 per linear foot; Dyke's). Mark a 1-inch-wide-by-4-inch-long notch at the upper-left corner. Mark the 2-inch-wide foot on the lower-right corner. Sketch the leg's contoured outline from the notch to the foot (or use this template. Cut the leg using a jigsaw. Trace and cut out three additional legs. Ease all the edges of the legs—except the notch—using 100-grit sandpaper.
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    Tools List

    • jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver, fitted with a combination bit

    Shopping List

    1. 58-inch newel post

    2. 2½-inch deck screws

    3. 3/8-inch screw hole button

    4. Primer and paint or stain

    5. Poplar 2x2

    6. 4 coat hooks