Step 13: Dry-Fit the Sides

Mark Powers dry-fits the pieces of the hypertufa table together
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Place an upper crosspiece on a work surface, notches facing upward. Place two legs below it with their tops abutting the crosspiece, and align the outer edges of the legs with the inner edges of the notches. Lay upper support blocks onto the upper crosspiece and legs so that they're flush at the top and fall between the notches. Lay a lower crosspiece onto the legs with the notch facing upward, abutting the upper support blocks and flush with the legs' outer edges. Lay lower support blocks onto the legs, abutting the lower crosspiece and flush with the legs' bottoms. Repeat for the second side.

Tip: The pieces of the base should fit snugly, but if the notches are 
a bit tight, use a wood file or a narrow piece of scrap wrapped in sandpaper to enlarge them.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver to assemble the form.
    • utility knife
      utility knife for cutting the foam.
    • aviation snip
      wire snips
    • mixing tub
      mixing tub to make the hypertufa mix.
    • masonry hoe
      hoe
    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      chip brush to spread petroleum jelly on the interior of the form before casting the tabletop.
    • finish hammer
      hammer
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      pneumatic nail gun

    Shopping List

    1. 1x4 scrap lumber for the form.

    2. cedar 1x4s for crosspieces and stretchers.

    3. cedar 1x2s for legs and support blocks.

    4. 1¼-inch and 2-inch deck screws

    5. perlite Get two bags.

    6. peat moss Get one large bag.

    7. portland cement Get a 47-pound bag.

    8. acrylic fortifier for the hypertufa mix, to prevent cracking. 9. ¾-inch rigid-foam insulation

    10. petroleum jelly or cooking spray to coat the interior of the form.

    11. ¼-inch hardware cloth

    12. plastic sheeting to cover the form while the tabletop cures.

    13. polyurethane glue, such as Gorilla Glue.

    14. 1-inch brad nails

    15. dust mask and protective gloves