One of the joys of buying a new home is the excitement of furnishing it, right?
Or so you may think until the dollars start adding up… One of the many new pieces of furniture you will need after buying a home is a kitchen table. Even the discount furniture stores are about $800 for a table and chairs. So why not just build your own…? Not only can you save yourself about $900 (similar table’s retail for about $1,200) but it will be a much better quality that will last through generations.
Here’s what you’ll need for a 5’6”x3’x30” (LxWxH) table:
(Keep in mind you can adjust these measurements to customize it to whatever size table you want)
Make sure you’re using a hardwood, I chose Poplar but highly recommend Oak.
10 1x4x10 BOARD
2 1x6x4 BOARD
7 2x2x36″ SQUARE
4 3x3x36″ SQUARE
2 large clamps
3 small clamps
Steel wool #000000
Table top saw
5/32 drill bit
Wood Filler (optional)
1. Cut the wood- Measure and mark the wood with a pencil before cutting. It is very important to make sure the pieces are even so the table is level.
Legs: 4 – 2×2 Posts @ 28 ½ ”
Leg Joiners: 2 – 1×4 @ 29 ½ ″
Side Aprons: 2 – 1×4 @ 54 ¾”
End Aprons: 2 – 1×4 @ 26 1/16th ”
End Apron Spacers: 4 – 1×4 @ 1 ¾”″
Tabletop Supports: 5 – 2×2 @ 29 ½ ″
Breadboard ends: 2 – 2×6 @ 35″
Breadboard supports: 2 – 2×2 @ 24 ½”
* Tabletop- 10 – 2×4 @ about 60” – DO NOT CUT YET! You will measure and cut these after table frame is built.
Rules of thumb:
Unless otherwise noted, the below steps are using 2 ½” screws.
Always glue before drilling to ensure stability.
Using 5/32 drill bit, always pre-drill before screwing in nail, this helps the wood not split.
2. Screw the legs and leg joiners together.
Lay one of the leg joiners on a flat/even surface.
Leaving about 3/4” on both sides, glue leg joiner and legs together
Once glued, pre- drill then screw into leg
Check that it’s leveled.
Repeat above steps with other 2 legs and leg joiner
3. Screw leg joiners and side aprons together.
Lay one of the above leg pieces on a flat/even surface.
Glue a side apron to outside of leg piece, pre-drill, and screw into leg joiner.
Repeat on other side.
Using the other leg piece, glue side apron to outside of leg piece, pre-drill, and screw into leg joiner.
You should have the base of the frame built now; check that it is sturdy and leveled. Adjust as needed.
4. Screw legs and end apron spacers together.
With end spacer against side apron, line top of leg and top of end spacers together
Glue, pre-drill and screw into center of leg.
Repeat on all 4 sides.
5. Screw leg joiner and breadboard supports together.
Fit breadboard support between end apron spacers
With the breadboard support against the leg joiner, glue, pre-drill, and screw into leg joiner.
6. Screw end apron spacers and end aprons together.
Fit end apron between legs
With end aprons level with front of legs, glue, pre-drill, and screw into end apron spacers.
Repeat on other side.
7. Screw tabletop supports and side aprons together.
Use 3” screws for this step.
Measure inside of table and mark the center with a pencil
Fit a tabletop support between side aprons, glue, pre-drill and screw to each side of side apron.
From the center support bar measure to one end, mark ¼ of measurement from center and ¼ of measurement from end. Your marks indicate where the other support bars go. The space between all support bars should be fairly equal.
Glue, pre-drill and screw in all support bars into side aprons.
8. Screw a breadboard end and breadboard support together.
*Stop step after doing 1 side.
Place breadboard end even with back of breadboard support
Then center breadboard end over legs.
Tip: from a scrap piece of 1×4 measure and cut into 1 15/16th (adjust as needed). Use this piece to check space on both sides of breadboard, if they are even they should be flush on both sides.
Glue breadboard end to legs, breadboard supports, etc.
From under the table, pre-drill, and screw into breadboard end from bottom of breadboard support
*see picture for clarification
Stop here before doing other side.
9. Measure and cut tabletop pieces.
Using 1 tabletop piece, in center of table, measure distance between breadboard piece and where other bread board piece will start, give yourself a little extra just in case.
Measure and cut all table top pieces the same. You can adjust later.
10. Glue tabletop pieces together.
Measure from one end of breadboard to the other and mark the center.
Starting in the center of the table, place table top pieces next to each other. It should line up with breadboard ends, if not adjust accordingly.
Glue 2-3 tabletop pieces together, then clamp all together, leave over night to dry.
11. Trim up edges
Use a table saw to even out edges of table top pieces.
To really finish out table and make it look professional,round out all edges with a Router.
12. Screw tabletop to frame.
Through the tabletop supports from under the table, glue, pre-drill and screw center tabletop piece to support bars.
Repeat step for remaining table top pieces working your way outward.
13. Repeat Step 8 for other bread board
You should have your table completely constructed now. Add wood filler to exposed nails if you wish.
14. Sand, Sand and Sand some more.
Patience will pay off greatly on this step. Do not rush and take your time to get tabletop completely smooth and even.
15. Condition wood
Depending on the wood type, such as poplar, it is recommended to condition wood before staining. Read wood conditioner instructions.
16. Stain wood
Read stain directions. Using a bristle brush, apply stain in smooth even coats, ragging away excess as you go.
Apply as many coats as you desire.
I recommend testing stain and number of coats on a scrap piece of wood first.
Read polyurethane directions. You will apply polyurethane with a sponge brush in smooth even coats, let dry and using steel wool, lightly sand down the table.
Repeat as needed.