Take one upper rail, one lower rail and two vertical slats and dry fit the pieces together. If necessary, sand the tenons so they will slip into the mortise slot. When the pieces fit neatly and align well (use a leg to make sure the sides align as shown in the picture), disassemble the side assembly and apply glue to the mortise and tenon joint and place into a clamp. Repeat the process two more times with the other parts. If any glue squeezes out, be sure to wipe all of the glue off with a damp cloth.
Dry fit the side assembly into two legs. If necessary, sand the tenons so they will slip into the mortise slot. Disassemble the leg assembly and apply glue to the mortise and tenon joint and place into a clamp. Be sure to wipe of any excess or glue squeeze out with a damp rag.
With three out of four sides in place, dry fit the shelf in the designated slot of the leg assemblies. Make sure the best side is faced up. Sand the tenons of the lower and upper rail, so they will slide nicely into the mortise slots. Apply glue to the mortise and tenon joints and assemble the table base. Make sure the table is square, in other words, that all the joints are at 90 degrees. Clamp and let dry over night. Use clamps on any joint you are gluing to pull the joint tight.
Lay the top with the recessed open downward on a non scratching surface, such as a cloth or a towel. Center the top by making equal distant measurements on each side. Install the top mount blocks. Be sure to have the large screw hole face downward. If you are using a hand screw driver, you may want to drill some pilot holes for the screws. In that case, place a piece of tape on the drill bit to keep from drilling a hole too deep (see picture). The holes should be about ½ inch deep. If you are using a power drill / screw driver there is no need to drill pilot holes as the screws are self taping.
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