I’m so excited to share this project with you! I was absolutely thrilled to have the chance to be the first person to build this Balustrade Console plan designed by Jen Woodhouse of The House of Wood. I’ve been admiring her work for years, and just love all of her posts about life, projects, and homeschooling her two children. She’s amazingly talented and clever. If you don’t follow her blog or social media accounts, get there and subscribe. You’ll be glad you did. Working with her on this project has been a blast. You can find the plans for this Balustrade Console on her site by clicking HERE.
(There are some affiliate links in this post which simply means that I get a small commission if you purchase through those links, at no cost to you. More details can be found in my Disclosure page. Thanks for supporting my small venture.)
Alright, so if you’re like me, you find a building plan you love, and in your head you’re like, “Okay awesome, but I sure wish there was more information or even step-by-step photos to go along with this…”
Well, I’m here for you, my friend! I took photos during the entire build and am more than happy to share. Just remember to be careful, think things through, and use ALL safety precautions necessary while using power tools; (don’t forget that dust mask!) If you don’t know all of these precautions already, stop and figure it all out before you build. I had a piece fly up and hit my safety glasses the other day and it was a good reminder that no matter how often you build, things happen, and it’s always, always, ALWAYS better safe than sorry.
Just to note: I built this out of the cheapest wood they have at Home Depot. Except for the balustrades, which are from Osborne Wood. My goal was to show that you can build great looking furniture even if you just have some basic tools and a small budget. Can you find cheaper furniture? Yes, of course. But the quality you get building it yourself is much better than if you were to buy something cheap at a department store or IKEA, and in many cases it is still less expensive. And it’s totally doable!
Not only that, but the feeling of empowerment that it gives you, and satisfaction in knowing you made something, is totally, totally worth it! Even when there are imperfections. (Learn to embrace the imperfections!) I tell you, the textured headboard I built is still something I walk by every single day and think about how much I still love it. You want that feeling, right? It’s my favorite thing about DIY.
Okay friends, on with the build!
I chose to cut all the boards at once, for a few reasons. Some people prefer to cut as you go so you can measure to make sure all of the pieces fit. To each his own; do what works for you. If your boards are the same as the measurements in the plan it should all work out fine. It did for me. So, here they are all cut and sanded (isn’t sanding just the best?) and stacked ever so neatly on my miter saw table.
Now time to build the bottom frame. Super easy, Kreg Jig it up and make sure it’s all square. If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, let me just tell you, for a beginning builder it is an absolute must. It is one of the first tools that I purchased after reading sites like Jen’s and Ana White’s and it really makes everything so easy! Here’s a link to get the one I have for a good deal! I paid much more when I bought mine. Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System (affiliate link) They have a Master version that I’ve heard people rave about, too.
I clamp the pieces together, though I didn’t catch that in the picture. Then attach with pocket screws.
Time to add the feet! I love these short, wide, solid feet on this table. I actually counter-sunk all of these screws just to be sure there was no way they scratch any floor this table is ever placed on. Milescraft sells a great little set of Counter Bits for your drill and I’d recommend giving them a go if you don’t already have a set. You can find them at Menards or on Amazon.com Milescraft Counter Bit Set, 4-Piece (affiliate link) They have four different sizes and each one is adjustable to the depth that you need. It comes with an allen wrench to adjust and all the pieces are labeled with their size. I really like these and used them multiple times for just this table. Just be sure your screws are short enough and won’t go out the top, as they’ll reach further since they are sunk inside the wood.
Okay, so here is where my rebel side kicked in. (sorry Jen!) The plan says to attach the bottom boards to the frame using screws. This would work absolutely fine, so by all means, follow Jen’s plan! Laziness led to rebelliousness for me at this point because I already had my nail gun out for another project and I thought to myself “Dude, it would be so easy to just glue and nail those suckers down.” (Yes, I say dude all the time, and I’m a girl. I’ll never stop.) So I did just that. I laid out all the pieces to check the fit, added glue, then nailed them in place. If you are in the market for a decent priced air compressor and nail gun, I’d highly recommend one. I just love mine and use it all the time! Haven’t had a single issue. Here’s a link to the one I own. PORTER-CABLE 3-Tool Combo Kit (affiliate link) It comes with a finish nailer, brad nailer, staple gun and air compressor and even nails and staples. Everything you need at a price you can afford! (Okay, end commercial break. Ha.)
On the left above, you can see that I found all the pieces to start the balustrade portion of this build. The balustrades themselves come from Osborne Wood and are just gorgeous. The 5.5″ pieces go on the top and bottom, so here’s the way I did it. (Certainly not the only way, but you’re here reading this, so my way it is!) I set the balustrade on top of the bottom piece and glued it down, making sure it is perfectly centered. Added weight to the top for pressure and let the glue dry. I then flipped it over and counter sunk four screws to attach the pieces. For the top piece (pictured below) I knew that they had to be even and square with each other, so I flipped the balustrade upside down, took two straight boards on each side, made sure all was square and level, and glued the post onto the top piece (which is on bottom), then clamped it all together. Again, added weight and let the glue dry. I followed that up by 4 more countersunk screws. It’s solid, baby. And square. Repeat for 2nd balustrade.
Top left photo again: glue down the balustrades as instructed in the plans. I glued them, added weights, (what? you don’t have gallons of water in your shop?) then when the glue dried I carefully tipped the entire thing over and screwed from the bottom of the table. 4 screws into each, they’re not going anywhere! Do basically the same thing with the 11.5″ squares, just make sure that they are centered on the balustrades! Make sure they’re level, glue, weigh down, let dry, screw through center down into the posts.
Table top: Jen’s plans are great here, so I’ll just share a couple photos. Just be sure to work on a level surface with boards that are not warped and you should be good to go.
Once the top is screwed together, place it on the assembled balustrade columns, check for level, glue it, center it, clamp it on both sides, and counter sink some screws to the bottom of the 11.5″ squares as you can see here.
There you have it! All done. Isn’t she just beautiful!?! (The workshop, not so much. My apologies.)
Final step is to sand as needed and choose a finish (I agonized over this step, haha) and finish her up. Or just leave as is as add a polycrylic to seal it up. The choice is yours! I used Minwax Wood Stain Classic Gray and Varathane Matte Finish Soft Touch Polyurethane
I just want to give a huge shout out and thanks to Jen Woodhouse for working with me on this project and for this awesome plan. Thanks Jen! And a huge thanks to all of you who read this, I hope it helped and would love to see what you make!
Oh, and if you want to check out another console table I built click to see my entry to the IG Builders Challenge last year.
Thanks friends! Keep building!