How to Add a Shelf Under a Buffet Table


Buffet tables can be used for just about anything related to serving food or storing utensils. Commercial buffet tables are huge, but everyday buffet tables that you find in homes are more furniture-oriented. Built from hardwoods, they accent any kitchen with beauty and functionality. Standard buffet tables measure about 20 inches deep, 30 inches tall and 60 inches wide. They have a 12-inch tall space at the bottom between the four legs. This provides a perfect place to add another shelf.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill/driver
  • 3/16-inch drill bit
  • 4 oak blocks, 3/4-by-2-by-5 inches
  • Stain
  • 1 1/2-inch screws
  • 3/4-inch-thick hardwood plywood
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Lacquer
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • 2-inch screws
  • Drill two holes evenly spaced through the center of four 3/4-by-5-inch oak blocks. blocks using a 3/16-inch drill bit and drill/driver. Apply matching stain to the blocks.

  • Place the blocks on the inside of the four legs of the buffet table, facing each other from front to back. One end of the block should be flush on the floor, the back of the block should be flush against the inside of the leg. Insert 1 1/2-inch screws in the holes and screw the blocks to the legs.

  • Measure the distance between the legs on the side of the table. Measure the distance from outside of the leg on the left side looking at the front, to the outside of the leg on the right. Use the measurement to cut one piece of 3/4-inch hardwood plywood to the measurements on a table saw. Test fit the plywood shelf by inserting it between the legs from the side. If it's too tight, trim 1/16-inch off one side at a time until it fits.

  • Sand and round the corners of the plywood using 100-grit sandpaper. Apply a wet coat of matching stain to the plywood using a cloth. Immediately wipe the stain off. When the stain is dry, apply one coat of aerosol lacquer. When the lacquer is dry, sand the shelf using 180-grit sandpaper. Apply one more coat of lacquer to finish. Allow the shelf to dry for one hour.

  • Slide the shelf between the legs from the sides. Flush the ends of the shelf with the table legs on both sides. Screw the shelf to the blocks using one 2-inch screw for each block.

Tips & Warnings

  • This type of shelf construction also works for other kinds of tables.
  • Wear safety glasses when working with wood or woodworking tools.

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