How to Make Your Own Slate-Inlay Top End Table


A slate-inlay end table is a decorative table that combines the use of stone and wood. A table like this has a normal table frame for its base and a top that is made out of slate. Slate end tables and coffee tables can be constructed without using mortar to glue to keep the tiles in place. If the tiles can be easily removed, that allows easier transportation of the table as well as easy replacement of the tiles if one were to break. Pine is often used when building slate end tables. When using pine for fine woodworking, it is important not to use construction lumber and to use a high-quality grade of pine.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • 2 pine boards, 1-by-4-by-23-inches
  • 2 pine boards, 1-by-4-by-21-inches
  • 4 pine boards, 2-by-2-by-19-inches
  • Plywood, 1/4-inch, 23-by-23-inches
  • 4 pine boards, 1-by-5-by-25-inches
  • Screw gun
  • Miter saw
  • 28 wood screws, 2 1/2-inch
  • 4 slate tiles, 1/4-by-11 1/2-by-11 1/2-inches
  • Set two 23-inch boards on edge, parallel and 21 inches apart. Set two 21-inch boards perpendicularly between them on edge and spaced 21 inches apart. The corners should be flush. Screw through the 23-inch boards and into the ends of the 21-inch boards. Use eight screws for this step.

  • Position a 19-inch board inside each corner of the frame. The boards should be perpendicular to the frame, with their ends all flush with one side of the frame. Screw through the frame and into the boards using two screws for each board. These are the legs to your end table.

  • Position the table upright and lay your plywood on top of the frame so the edges are flush. Screw the plywood to the frame using eight screws.

  • Cut the ends of each 25-inch board at a 45-degree angle. Do not alter the original length of the boards. When the boards lie flat, they should have a trapezoid shape. These boards will hide the view of the plywood and give your table a finished look.

  • Screw each 25-inch board to the frame so their ends are each one inch away from the sides of the frame and so their top edges are parallel with the boards on the frame. The top edges should also be ¼ inch above the plywood. The angled cuts on the 25-inch boards should be against each other, creating a 45-degree seem at each corner of the table. Use eight screws for this task. The screws should each be two inches away from the ends of the board and 2½ inches away from each edge.

  • Lay your slate tiles on the plywood and in-between the 25-inch boards.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety glasses when using power tools.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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