Tripod Table – Part 1

A couple of years ago a friend of mine asked me to make a sign for the restaurant his wife worked for. Unfortunately, within a couple weeks of starting the project he told me to stop because his wife no longer worked there. I’m glad I didn’t go any further with the project because it at least left me with some pieces that could be used for a future project. I’ve had a circle of wood sitting in my shop for a couple of years waiting for something to be done with it. I’ve always figured I could make a table with it, I just finally pulled the trigger.


The legs of the table was always something I was curious about how I would do them. I saw a great tripod table idea and I thought it would suit the table quite nicely. I didn’t have any wood I really wanted to use for the legs but I did have some pine that fit the bill at least to mock up and get an idea how it would look. I ripped a piece of 1 1/2″ X 5″ piece into 3 pieces. I marked out dead center and then offset the markings to be the width of the wood. Essentially I am just creating an interlocking joint.


Instead of setting everything up on the table saw, I figured because of how easy the joinery is, I would just do it with hand tools. I started by creating a relief cut with a chisel so I have a track for my saw to ride in. It helps start the cut in the right location.


Using my dovetail saw, I cut down on the two sides of my lines.


Next I used my Ryoba saw to make a bunch of kerf cuts which will help chisel out a lot of the waste.


And here it is roughly cleared out.


The last part was clearing up the cut and getting it all flush with my router plane. This was a tool I got from my lovely wife for Christmas and for jobs like this, it really does an amazing job. Keeps everything nice and level and produces an incredibly clean cut as long as you’re taking light passes. Because it’s pine, it did tear out a bit in the middle but it’s a part of the wood that won’t be showing.


Getting the angles on the legs was a bit of a pain and I’m really glad I did it on some wood that I really don’t care if I need to scrap. But now that I have figured out the angles, I will be moving onto the legs that I really want for the table. I will most likely get some maple as I think it’ll blend well with the top. The brown top and yellow legs just don’t go all that well but it is nice to do the concept first.


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