How to Make a Simple Wood Table

People always have a need for a simple wood table, so it's time you sharpened up your woodworking skills and built one, either for personal needs or for a friend.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Hammer/screw driver
  • Nails/screws
  • Glue
  • Table saw

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Collect the wood. There are many different kinds of wood, with many colors and degrees of hardness. Some cost a lot more than others. Decide on a wood you prefer and can afford, and purchase a square or oblong piece at least the size of the table you have in mind, with four long pieces (two-by-fours or sturdier) for legs.

Think about what you plan to put on the table. Remember that the heavier the items you will place on the table, the stronger the legs need to be to support that weight. A great size for a simple wood table is 5 feet by 5 feet. If necessary, find a table saw and cut off your large piece of wood to those dimensions.

Figure out the height of the table. Do you want the table low to the ground like a coffee table or higher up to support a television? Once again consider what you plan to set on the table, which will figure in determining the height. Use the table saw or a hand saw to cut off the legs to the designed height. Careful, all the legs must be exactly the same length, or your table will be uneven or wobble. Some people will add bracing between the legs for further support. A second and lower shelf will also stabilize the legs, or rails can be attached between the legs on the underside of the table top, including corner supports.

Nail or screw the legs to each corner on the underside of the square piece. Some people will decide to attach the legs with glue. If you use an additional square piece to create a lower shelf or support, you'll start with the bottom shelf and then nail, screw or glue on the top piece. Nails are a little quicker and cheaper, but you'll build a more sturdy table with screws. Make sure the nails and screws do not stick up through the top of the table. Avoid this by screwing the holes from the top to the legs or by nailing or screwing the bolts from the side of each leg with a backing.

Finish the table. First you'll want to sand the entire table to give it a smooth finish. Then varnish or apply a stain with clear coat to give the table a professional appearance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Observe caution around the table saw.


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