WealdLake
a Canton of the Barony of North Woods
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To the best of my knowledge, this is not a period design. This design is for groups or individuals to use to make a portable, easy to store, easy to make, easy to modify, inexpensive set of tables or benches with common power tools. The ones below were made with a miter saw, saber saw and drill (my circular saw was out on loan). 

You do not have to make everything the same - for example, you could use one piece of plywood to make two tables and four benches.  The trick is figuring out materials needed for your combination. The 4 tables alone, 8 benches alone and the 2 table, 4 bench combinations are listed in the materials list. Add each row for your combination together to get your materials list. I do recommend some form of sealant to protect your table or bench, even tho it should be covered by a tablecloth or piece of fabric to look more period in an encampment setting. Just remember your wrenches to set them up and take them down. 

The 2' by 4' design allows you to have easy to handle tables that can be utilized in different combinations. One person can carry these in many cases (teenage boys are good for this). Tables lined up end to end are a buffet line or long work surface. Separated, they make A&S display areas, divided by division or small group tables. Side to side, they are a 4' x 4' dining table. The legs set the height. so if you needed to make then higher or lower for one event, 1 or 2 2x4s cut at the new height with a few holes drilled,  viola! a table at your new level.

The pictures are thumbnailed below for quicker page loading. Click on the picture for the larger version.

Materials list : 

1 sheet 4 foot by 8 foot 5/8" plywood
6 for 4 table tops

8 for 2 tables and 4 benches 

8 foot 2" x 4" 
6 for 4 tables - 28" to 32" high

6 for 8 benches - 16" high

4 for 4 tables - 20" to 24" high

3 for 4 tables 18" high

8 foot 2" x 4"
8 nuts and bolts per table x 4 tables = 32

8 nuts and bolts per table or bench x 2 tables and x 4 benches (2 + 4 = 6) = 48

8 nuts and bolts per bench x 8 benches = 64

3 1/2" x 3/8" bolts (carriage or lag)
4 tables = 32 bolts x 2 = 64

2 tables and 4 benches = 48 x 2 = 96

8 benches = 64 x 2 = 128

3/8" washers
1 lb 1" or longer drywall or wood screws 
optional 1 gallon paint/stain to protect wood
Standard counter height is 32". Standard kitchen table height is 30". 28" best for camp stove table (puts burners at comfortable height). Standard coffee table height is 18". Standard bench height is 16". Adjust your height to expected use. For benches, change to 1 ft intervals instead of 2 ft for the plywood tops and for the crosspiece 2" x 4".
100_0739.JPG (273047 bytes) Start with the 4' x 8' sheet of plywood.
100_0740.JPG (255870 bytes) 100_0741.JPG (131920 bytes) Measure and mark it at 2ft intervals. This will give you  four 2' by 4' table tops. (Change to 1 ft intervals for benches.)
100_0742.JPG (140888 bytes) Mark a straight line across the table and cut the tops.  (I used a drywall square to make the lines.)
100_0744-crop.JPG (88100 bytes) Measure 4 ft on 4 of the 2x4s.
100_0746.JPG (157972 bytes) Cut the 2x4s on the marks. This will give you 8 rails for the tops.
100_0748.JPG (208698 bytes) Measure 2 ft intervals on two of the 2x4s for the crosspieces. (Measure 1 ft for the benches).
100_0746.JPG (157972 bytes) Cut the 2x4s on the marks.
100_0751.JPG (231606 bytes) You should now have all the pieces cut for your tops.
100_0752.JPG (157096 bytes) 100_0753.JPG (149756 bytes) Using a piece of scrap 2x4, mark a line one 2x4 width from the end of each of the pieces. This only needs to be done on one side.
100_0755.JPG (145256 bytes) 100_0756.JPG (184666 bytes) Do this for all the pieces on both ends - rails and crosspieces.
100_0757.JPG (182531 bytes) 100_0758.JPG (185719 bytes) Make  mark at 1 3/4". Draw a line to the line previously made, forming a T dividing the 2x4 in half. 
100_0760.JPG (160331 bytes) Do this for all the rails and crosspieces.
100_0761.JPG (193199 bytes) 100_0762.JPG (166119 bytes) 100_0763-crop.JPG (167492 bytes) Next cut out one of the boxes you have drawn, making an L. Do this for both ends of the 2x4, cutting out on the same edge. Again, do this for all the rails and crosspieces. These do not have to be perfect - they are very forgiving.
100_0764.JPG (247827 bytes) 100_0765.JPG (160096 bytes) 100_0766.JPG (162017 bytes) To provide room for the bolt and nut, drill out a hole deep enough for the bolt to safely fit. This is a countersink. Drill on the side opposite of the box you cut out. Make sure the bit you use is wide enough to fit the full top of the bolt in. Again, do this for all the rails and crosspieces. (If you want to hide the bolts and nuts, countersink both sides and use 3" bolts.)
100_0767.JPG (247001 bytes) 100_0768.JPG (274803 bytes) 100_0769.JPG (257746 bytes) 100_0770.JPG (218440 bytes) 100_0771.JPG (251713 bytes) Put the crosspieces and rails together. Drill a 3/8" hole through both pieces of the wood. Insert the bolt (with washers next to the wood) and loosely put on the nut. This will hold the end together as you drill the other side. Do this for all the frames.
100_0772.JPG (281088 bytes) 100_0773.JPG (259275 bytes) Set a frame on a stable support - bolt head side up. Then put on one of the top pieces cut out above. 
100_0774.JPG (212436 bytes) 100_0775.JPG (177714 bytes) Using the drywall/wood screws, attach the top to the frame. Line the edges up to the top, as the frame will move to fit. After the top is attached, tighten the nuts to tighten the frame.
100_0776.JPG (147405 bytes) 100_0745.JPG (204144 bytes) 100_0778.JPG (208288 bytes) Cut the legs to length. Use the guide at the top of the list for suggested heights. Reminder, 4 needed per table/bench.
100_0779.JPG (229957 bytes) 100_0780.JPG (227690 bytes) Place a leg into position, then drill a hole for the leg bolt.
100_0781.JPG (149573 bytes) 100_0783.JPG (178573 bytes) Lay the leg down in the top. Drill a second hole through the side of the table.
100_0782.JPG (148438 bytes) Place the second leg on the same rail in position, then drill a hole for the leg bolt. Using that hole leg bolt hole for a guide, drill a second lower hole in the first leg.
100_0784.JPG (222499 bytes) Using the leg bolts (washers next to the wood), loosely attach the legs together by the hole just drilled in the last step. Lay the connected legs in the table and attach the leg to the side. Do the same for the other side. You now have the table in storage/transport mode. 
 

Side Trips

Click to Visit: North Woods a Barony in Pentamere a region of The Kingdom of the Middle (Midrealm) a part of The SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism)
Check out the Medieval Wedding site at Aliyah's Wedding Day! Or visit with Lady Seadhli at the Pentamere and Canton of Wealdlake Minister of Youth Website Come see what we are about on the online SCA demo
And after your visit, come back - we missed you! - webminister@SCANorthWoods.org
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