Start Your New DIY Project and See How to Make a Table

Need a new table for your living room? Instead of buying an expensive one, why not start your new project and see how to make a DIY table? Not only will you save a lot of money, but you will also be able to customize it as per your requirements.

Wooden table on a living room with cup of coffee and book

Sounds good, right? Even if you don’t have a lot of experience in woodworking, you can easily learn how to make tables. Who knows! You may be able to make DIY furniture for your garden after that. In this tutorial, we will guide you on making a simple table that perfectly fits your needs. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Design and preparation of the DIY project

Want to build a table? You need to consider a couple of things before you start building it:

Things You Will Need

  • Wood
  • Chalk
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Workbench
  • Pocket hole screws
  • Pocket hole drill bit
  • Power drill
  • Wood glue
  • Lag screws
  • Circular saw
  • Ratchet
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stainer
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Foam brush

Purpose of the Table

Ask yourself what you need from the table. There are so many types out there. A rustic dining table, a farmhouse table, a coffee table, a picnic table -that you can learn how to make on your own here, or a simple desk are some of them. The purpose of the table will dictate its height, width, and other measurements. For instance, you will need to leave room for your legs for a dining room table or a kitchen table. Similarly, for an elegant side table, you have to consider the height of your mattress. But let’s go with a basic one for now! 

Man choosing materials for table

Select the Kind of Wood

The kind of wood you want for your table is entirely up to you. We recommend that you use a strong, durable wood, especially while choosing the one for the table legs, as it will hold the weight of the table.

Even though pine isn’t tough, it is inexpensive and is a DIYer, beginner-friendly choice. Other common choices are maple, cherry, douglas fir, reclaimed wood, etc. For outdoor woodworking projects, if you want for example to build a raised garden bed or a garden bench, you should go with cypress, redwood, or pressure-treated wood.

Once you know what kind of wood you need, go to your local home improvement store and buy it. If possible, ask the store to cut the wood for you. This will save you a lot of time and effort, and you will be able to build it right away. If you plan on cutting the wood yourself using a mitre saw, make sure that you wear safety glasses and a respirator mask.

Make a Rough Sketch

With the help of a pencil and ruler, sketch your ideal wood dining table. You don’t have to consider the dimensions right now. Simply visualize how you want the piece of furniture to look like and sketch it. 

Settle on the table size and the features you want. Once you have made a rough design of your table plans, write down the dimensions. Remember that store lumber sizes are almost 1.3 cm smaller than actual lumber, so add a couple of extra centimetres to the estimates.

Break down the table to its basic components – tabletop, legs, etc. – and figure out how much wood you need.

How to create the tabletop step-by-step

1. Choose a Flat Work Surface
Craftsman using wooden blocks for making furniture

Pick a flat surface while working on yours so that it is even. Position the wooden boards facedown and arrange them into the shape of the table base you just sketched. If you are making a large table, place the wooden pieces on the floor.

Place a tarp or sheet on the floor first so that the wooden boards don’t get scratched. You can use a single sheet of wood for the tabletop, or you can screw several pieces of wood together. 

2. Attach the Boards Together

Drill holes to the inner board. If you drill the holes before you add the screws, it will keep them from cracking. With the help of a pocket hole drill bit, drill at an angle through the sideboards. Place the pocket hole screws in the holes that you just drilled with the help of a power drill. This will create a very secure piece

3. Attach the Aprons

On the underside of the table, trace the position of the aprons. The aprons will keep the legs from moving after you attach them to the tabletop. Measure in about 2.5 cm from the edges. 

With the help of chalk, draw a line to indicate where you will attach the aprons. Use the length and width measurements of the tabletop to cut the aprons, if you haven’t already. Place the aprons on the lines that are traced. 

Spread an even, solid coating of wood glue and place the 2 shorter aprons along the width of the table and 2 longer aprons along the length of the table. You can screw the aprons to the table as well, but glue works great.

Attaching the table’s legs in simple steps

Hands making wooden table

1. Measure the Table Legs

Attaching the legs is one of the trickiest parts when it comes to making a table. One bad leg is all it takes to have a wobbly piece instead of a sturdy one. Measure them carefully and ensure that they are equal in length.

2. Attach the Legs to the Aprons

Place the legs where the aprons are connected with each other. Spread glue on the table’s underside as well as on the insides of the aprons. Clamp the legs in place carefully. 

Wait for a while before you screw the legs in place to make sure they don’t come loose—drill holes from the outside of the apron and straight into the legs. You have to drill 8 holes in total.

Use lag screws to fasten the legs. Twist the screws into the table’s leg using a ratchet. Don’t drill the lag screws into place as they may break. Carefully turn the table over. If the legs are uneven, you can use the circular saw, or a table saw to even them out. Voila! You have just built your first table! 

Finishing touches for the perfect table

1. Sanding the Table

With the help of 80-grit coarse sandpaper, sand the table down. You can use a belt sander as well, to make things faster.Notice the grain of the table and go over the entire surface. Sand the undersides and the legs as well.

To smooth out the table, you need to use 220-grit fine sandpaper. Again, you have to work along the wood grain. There will be a lot of wood dust on the table, so use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe it off and remove the dust. You can use an electric sander as well if you want. 

2. Staining the Table

If you like the wood finish, you can skip this step. Otherwise, apply wood stain on your table. Open the box of wood stainer and mix it as per the instructions given on the box. Make sure that you are wearing protective gloves.

Apply the stainer using a rag or a foam brush. Wipe off any excess wood staining product in the end. You can use oil-based stainers (lasting and penetrative), gel-stainers (thick and dark) or water-based stainers (easy to apply but don’t absorb evenly)

After the stain dries, you can apply a second coating, if needed. Wait overnight before you use the table.

A man holding brush and painting a wooden table

Instead of buying expensive furniture that will drain your bank account, you can easily start your new DIY project and see how to make a table. All you need is the right advice and information. Follow the step-by-step instructions that we have given above, and you will become a proud owner of your customized table in no time.

Happy Carpeting, Folks!

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