Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Cross Frame Side Table

06.24.11 By //
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The Cross Frame Collection is extremely versatile, inexpensive to build (very), can be built without special tools (really) and will take you hardly any time at all to put together.

Did I mention how chic these pieces are? Yep, super chic! This piece is a Side Table… in theory, but might also be used as a pair, in place of a coffee table. Lightweight and easy to move around as needed, this table becomes your go to table for any occasion…even if all you need is a plant stand! Come to think of it, these would also be fabulous as nightstands!

Estimated Cost 


Dimensions for This Project


Tape Measure





**Miter Saw or Miter Box and Hand Saw – Optional for mitering the bottom and outside edges of the Legs, Bases, and Outside Cross Bars.

** Kreg Jig – Optional, and can be built without one, but will have a few tricky attachments for this project and
as is the case with most projects, would definitely benefit from using one.

** Finish Nail Gun – Optional, and can be built without one. You can use a Finish Set and Hammer to fasten with finish nails or you can opt to use screws instead.


1 – 2×3 @ 10'

1 – Sheet of 3/4″ Ply in a specie of your choice. You only need a small amount for this project, ask your lumber supply if they will sell you a 2' x4' piece rather than the entire 4' x 8' sheet. Otherwise you will have a ton of excess (but perhaps that is the perfect excuse to build the coffee table that matches?)

If you are not Mitering:

2 – 1×2 @ 6'

If you are planning on Mitering then you will need to purchase this instead:

2 – 1×2 @ 8' (the measurements add up to exactly 12' of or 2 1×2 @ 6' but this doesn't allow for the saw cuts and the amount that eats up each time you cut, so you will have a bit of extra on each board but not much)


**Kreg Jig Owners: 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws and 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws

3″ Screws – ** Kreg Owners will not need this item and will use the 2 1/2″ PHS in place of this.

2 1/2″ Screws

1 1/4″ Screws

2″ Finish Nails (you can also use the 1 1/4″ Screws for the table trim if you prefer not to buy this or don't have a finish nail gun, just be sure to countersink to hide the screws)

Wood Glue

Wood Filler


Finishing Supplies

Cut List 

**Note: I am providing 2 cut measurements for a few pieces that have the option of being mitered.

4 – 2×3 @ 18 1/2″ (Legs)

1 – 2×3 @ 19″ (Base) ** this becomes 22″ if mitering.

2 – 2×3 @ 4 1/4″ (Cross Bars) ** this becomes 5 3/4″ if mitering.

2 – 1×2 @ 19″ (Frame)

2 – 1×2 @ 14″ (Frame)

1 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 22″ x 14″ (Table Top)

2 – 1×2 @ 23 1/2″ (Table Trim)

2 – 1×2 @ 14″ (Table Trim) ** this will become 15 1/2″ if mitering.


**If mitering your edges and corners you will cut at a 45° angle for this project. It would be safe to give yourself an extra inch on the boards that will be mitered, until you are sure that your miter cut was exact. This will give you a
little wiggle room to correct if need be. Once your miter is exact you can remove the excess on the opposite end.

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials!

Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices.

Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Step 1 

Attach the Outside Legs to the Base and then attach the Cross Bar: Use 3″ Screws.

** You can miter the edges of the Legs and Base pieces for a more polished appearance and so that you attach from
underneath (this is helpful if you aren't using a Kreg Jig so that you can hide your screws), but this is not entirely necessary and as you can see below looks just fine without mitered edges. See step 2 for an example of the mitered edges.

** If you are planning on mitering the leg/base connections, you will want to miter the outside edge of these before you attach them in this step (they will also be a tad longer if you are mitering, see cut list above).

**Attaching the Cross Bar is the trickiest portion of this plan if you aren't using a Kreg Jig. You will need to attach the Cross Bars to the Base by fastening them from a spot near the circle shown in the diagram below. You will fasten from the outside edges of each Cross Bar, inward at an angle into your Base (forming an X shape with your screws when they are both fastened).

Step 2 

Attach the Inside Legs: Use 3″ Screws if you are going to fasten them as shown below. You can also miter the bottom of the Legs, in which case a 2 1/2″ Screw will be more appropriate. Kreg Jig Owners, use your trusty 2 1/2″ PHS.

Without mitered edges, and with mitered edges, respectively:

Step 3

Step 3 

Build your Table Frame: Use your Pocket Hole system to fasten the frame pieces to each other and then attach the Frame to each leg using 2 1/2″ Screws. If you aren't using Pocket Holes, attach the frame pieces together using 2 1/2″ Screws and then fasten to the Legs.

This frame serves the purpose of providing something to attach your table top to, so that you won't have to make visible holes in it.

Step 4

Step 4 

Attach your Table Top: Use 1 1/4″ Screws and fasten to the frame from underneath, all the way around. No visible screw holes…

Step 5

Step 5 

Trim out the Table Top: Use 2″ Finish Nails to attach, or if you have trouble with this (because you don't have a finish nail gun and doing it by hand is hard) you can also use your 1 1/4″ Screws, just be strategic in where you place them and how many you use along each edge.

** Optional – for a very polished appearance you can miter the corners of your trim pieces.

Without mitered trim, and with mitered trim, respectively:

Finishing Instructions 

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

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**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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