Learn How to Make

How to Make a Table

If you have experience with woodworking tools, making your own table can be great fun. Not only will you get the piece of furniture you want, but you'll save money and have the satisfaction of doing a great job. But not everyone is adept with the various saws and hardware needed, nor do they have in-depth knowledge about selecting woods or how to provide for stress-bearing.

That doesn't mean you can't still build a nice table, in the style you want. But it may be simpler, and still fun to buy components from a company that supplies the various parts, such as a table top, apron, legs, joints and mouldings. Once assembled, you can hand finish it in the stain that suits you, or the rest of your furniture.

First, make sure that your components are quality wood. For example, you should strive to find table tops without knots that may weaken the surface and mar the appearance. You also want natural wood legs, not ones made from sections of wood subjected to glues and high pressure to make them into one piece. The apron, or edge that goes around a circular table, is something that can be tricky to make, so you'll end up paying more for an apron shaped by steam treatment, than one of plywood forced to bend under mechanical pressure.

Consult your supplier as to the joinery hardware you will need for the style of table you intend to build. Remember, the longer the table, the more stress on the center section. Hepplewhite legs provide a clean, fresh line, but may be too delicate for the weight of the tabletop you purchased. Ask if the table style you want, e.g. William and Mary, Shaker, or Sheraton, is suitable for the wood you would like it in.