Sick of leaning over to pick up your drink? Time to make a couch side table!

Two 2x4s, a 1×12, and some tools.

What you do when you don’t have clamps and only know how to make butt joints. Using blocks actually worked pretty well, butt joints on the other hand..

I sanded and finished the pine with shellac before final assembly. Shellac is still one of my favorite finishes, but definitely not 3 lb cuts nowadays.

Near final product. The height was cut to fit perfectly over the couch sides. The top is attached with screws that were set as deep as possible without sticking through.

Inexpensive wood may not match perfectly, but it works and pine ages well when taken care of.

The final step was to mix beeswax with food grade mineral oil to make a furniture wax and apply a final layer of protection against those pesky water rings.

A fundamental flaw in this design was that there is no cross bracing and the legs can and did separate easily. I added a 1×4 piece on the bottom to stabilize the legs and it’s been a solid table for almost a year. Since the it is tucked into the side of the couch, you only see the top and this particular piece has an attractive grain pattern.