How to Build an Oval Table

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Things You'll Need

  • Wood

  • 1x3 Plank

  • Nails

  • String

  • Measuring tape

  • Wood pencil

  • Jigsaw

  • Drill

  • Sander

  • Medium grit sandpaper

  • Fine grit sandpaper

  • Tacks

  • 4 Table legs

  • Wood stain

  • Wood sealer

  • Paint brush

Oval tables allow you to have a table that extends the length while minimizing the width that would be required for a complete circle. For spaces where a traditional rectangle table would be appropriate, but you want to do something with softer edges, an oval table is ideal. You can make an oval table with basic carpentry and woodworking skills. The most difficult part of making the table is creating an outline that is the proper dimensions and in proportion.


Step 1

Obtain the wood to make the table top. This can be anything from plywood to expensive maple. If you are new to woodworking, you may want to use a cheaper wood and make a prototype to gain more experience. Make sure the wood is at least 1/4 inch thick.

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Step 2

Use the 1x3 to find the center mark of the table. To do this, place the 1x3 from the top right corner of the wood to the lower left corner. Draw a line near the center. Do the same with the opposite corners. Where the two lines intersect is the center mark.

Step 3

Measure and mark the axis for both the x-axis and y-axis. This should intersect with your center mark.

Step 4

Cut the 1x3 into a quick compass by cutting it 2 inches longer than half of your longest axis. For example, if your y-axis is 6-feet long, you will cut the 1x3 3 feet and 2 inches long. Drill a hole centered 1 inch from each end.


Step 5

Place a nail in one end of the compass and your carpenter's pencil in the other. Place the end with the nail on the lower axis center mark with the pencil on the left side.

Step 6

Rotate the compass so the pencil makes a rounded mark. Repeat on the right side. These are your vertices.


Step 7

Place a tack on each vertice and tie the string to it, making it taught.

Step 8

Place the pencil below the string and hold it taught against the string. Be sure to keep this upright and slide the pencil along the string creating the oval. You will create the top part of the oval with the pencil below the string and the bottom part of the oval by repositioning the pencil above the string and continuing on.


Step 9

Cut the shape out with the jigsaw.

Step 10

Sand the edges until they are smooth. Use medium grit first and then fine grit to finish it off.

Step 11

Measure and mark four spots in a rectangle within the oval to place the table legs. These should be 1 to 4 inches within the perimeter of the oval.


Step 12

Screw the table legs in.

Step 13

Apply a wood finish and sealer with a paintbrush and allow to dry.


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