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How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Create a space-saving central repository for keys, leashes, and mail in your front entry using vintage stair parts

table made with staircase spindles
Photo by Kristine Larsen

My friend David Menendez came to me with a problem. How to create a central repository for keys, dog leashes, and mail in his tiny front entry without gobbling up precious square footage? Easy. Build a two-legged console that saves space by anchoring directly to the wall. To match the lived-in look of his farmhouse, we built one ourselves using inexpensive salvaged stair parts. For the front legs, we chose a pair of green-painted spindles for $50. The top is an 11¼-inch-deep-by-36-inch-long heart-pine tread that we got for just $15. To replicate the look of a riser (salvage yards usually don't stock them) for the apron, we cut a $5 rough-sawn pine board to a standard 7½-inch height.

Exclusive offer for TOH readers: Get 25 percent off a salvaged stair part kit to make this table when you mention TOH at Caravati's Inc.


Steps // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts
1 ×

Pry old fasteners

 
Step One // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Pry old fasteners

removing glue with a nail-puller
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Pry old fasteners (nails or carpet staples) from the stair tread with a nail-puller, and use a scraper to remove any glue or paint residue.

 
2 ×

Marking a straight line

 
Step Two // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Marking a straight line

marking a straight line on tread
Photo by Kristine Larsen

If your tread has returns (small projections that would have given the tread a finished look when its ends were exposed), remove them. Start by marking a straight line along both ends.

 
3 ×

Cut along the line

 
Step Three // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Cut along the line

Cut along the line using a jigsaw.
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Cut along the line using a jigsaw. To steady the tool, clamp a wood scrap to the tread as a guide.

 
4 ×

Arrange the apron boards

 
Step Four // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Arrange the apron boards

marking the board where you will screw the apron
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Arrange the apron boards on the underside of the tread, leaving a ¾-inch reveal for the tread to overhang. Next, mark where you'll attach 2x4 interior blocking into which you'll screw the apron.

 
5 ×

Clamp the apron

 
Step Five // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Clamp the apron

Clamping the apron and blocking in place
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Clamp the apron and blocking in place and mark where the fasteners will go. You'll use 3½-inch deck screws to secure the blocking vertically to the tread, and 1 5/8-inch ones to attach it horizontally to the apron.

 
6 ×

Predrill screw holes

 
Step Six // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Predrill screw holes

drilling screw holes in the blocking.
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Fit your drill/driver with a countersink combination bit and predrill screw holes in the blocking. Bore holes just deep enough so that the screws will anchor in the tread and apron but not go all the way through. Screw the blocking to the apron and tread.

 
7 ×

Attach the spindle legs

 
Step Seven // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Attach the spindle legs

Attaching the spindle legs to the apron's front
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Attach the spindle legs to the apron's front and sides using 1 5/8-inch screws. Predrill holes first to prevent the wood from splitting.

 
8 ×

Mount the strip level

 
Step Eight // How to Build a Table From Stair Parts

Mount the strip level

securing the new table to the wall
Photo by Kristine Larsen

To secure your new table to the wall, cut a wood strip that fits between its interior blocking. Mount the strip level on the wall at the height of the table's underside. Rest the table on the strip, and join the two with finishing nails tapped through the table top.

 
 
 

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