How to Build a Table?

Building a table is a satisfying project that takes you to the roots of basic, do-it-yourself woodworking. In little time, you will have a beautiful table designed to your own specifications and needs.

Tools and Supplies

– (8) 5/16th-inch lag screws and washers, each 1 1/2 inches long
– Electric miter saw
– Cordless drill with a full range of driver and drill bits
– Circular saw with a 60-teeth per inch or greater finish cut blade
– (3) One-by-threes, each 8 feet long
– (1) 4-foot by 4-foot sheet of 3/4-inch hardwood veneer-bond plywood
– (2) Two-by-twos, each 8 feet long
– 1-inch screws
– (4) 3-inch corner metal braces
– Impact wrench or set of manual ratchet wrenches
– Tape measure
– T-square
– Speed Square
– Carpenter’s pencil
– Soft, old towel
– (4) Surface-mount metal corner braces for table aprons


Mark the 4-foot by 4-foot sheet of plywood to 48 inches by 30 inches. Cut off the 18-inch strip with the circular saw and discard the waste or use it for other projects. The standard height for table tops is around 30 inches. With the miter saw and the two 8-foot two-by-twos, cut four table legs to a 29-inch length.

Each of the table legs will need a diagonal face cut into the top 3 inches to 4 inches in order to receive the lag bolts. Cut off a 45-degree slice, 1/2-inch wide, from the top of each of the legs.

Turn the veneer board over, on top of the soft towel, so that the better veneer side is facing down. With the T-square and the pencil, mark four lines along each of the four edges, one inch inward from the edges.

Cut two one-by-threes to 46 inches and two more one-by-threes to 28 inches. If you varied the inset, adjust these lengths accordingly. Lay another one-by-three across the top of the 90-degree junction formed by the two table apron sides. Use the Speed Square to make sure that the brace is at a 45-degree angle.

Drill two holes per leg for the lag bolts, each hole 1/4-inch in diameter. Fit washers onto the lag bolts, then turn them into place using the impact wrench or the manual ratchet wrenches.

With the table now built, you can finish the table in any manner you choose.

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