I built this for my wife oh about two decades ago for her 20th birthday, how time flies. My daughter has this now and it’s in tact and it hasn’t fallen apart nor has the stain faded. It looks the same as the day it was made.
I made it from radiata pine and stained it with rosewood mahogany. The finish I used was my dad’s 15 year old automotive clear lacquer. They say old paint won’t stick but it hasn’t worn off after 20 years unlike the gloss I bought 15 years from a big box store. That’s the difference between industrial made finishes and the finishes made for the DIY’s.
Some of my woody friends said the rails will snap because there isn’t much meat due to the scrolled leaves. I suppose they would of snapped if you stood on the table or even sat in the middle, but if you use it as it’s supposed to be used then it won’t and it hasn’t and never will.
The moral of this story is:
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Don’t fret too much over structural integrity, even nails (cut nails) will hold a toolbox together for a couple of hundred years.
I build a table back then that 5 ft square, it was a split top hinged lidded table. We used to place DVD’s in one half and children’s toys in the other. It was held together with wooden nails and the tabletop was doweled at 2″ spacing. My kids were jumping on it, dancing and even I who was overweight then stood and jumped on it several times, the darn thing never broke.
If the table was built from chipboard it would of snapped like a twig. If it was built from MDF it would’ve snapped like a twig. That’s why IKEA furniture and any furniture made from chipboard and MDF rarely last very long.