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How to Build a Table

Building a table is a great way to hone those woodworking skills. Learn how to build a table and you can create a custom designed table and more from Homeclick.

Polished table outside

Expected Project Length:

Half a day

Skill Level:



3/4-inch wood screws Wood stain 3/4-inch plywood 2"x4"x10' wood 1"x4"x10' wood Sandpaper (80, 120, 220 grit) Wood glue 1 1/2"x 1 1/2" L brackets (4)


Ear protection Drill with bit Pencil Level Screwdriver Dust mask Safety glasses Chisel Circular saw Tape measure

Warning: Always follow the manufacturer's safety precautions when using power tools. Always wear safety glasses, ear protection, and a dust mask when using power tools.

14 steps on 'How to Build a Table'

1. Mark the wood

Marking wood with straight angle

Using the measuring tool, mark the wood dimensions that are going to be used. Use the plywood for the table top and the 2x4 wood for the legs. Start with the table top, next is the under table, and finally, the table legs. (Measurements will vary according to your plans and/or dimension requirements.)

2. Cut the table top

Sawing table top with circular saw

Using your circular saw, cut the plywood to the required measurements. Be sure to wear your safety goggles, ear protection, and dust mask at this stage.

3. Cut the under-table

Sawing the under-table with circular saw

The under table is the wood block between the table top and table legs. Using your saw, cut the 1”x4”x10’ wood to the required length and width of the table top. Cut the Length at least an inch shorter than the table top’s length. Do the same for width.

4. Cut the table legs

Sawing table legs

Using the 2x4s, cut the wood using your circular saw. Try your best to have a clean cut throughout the process for minimal alterations later on. This also makes your table legs level and stable.

5. Sand the wood

Sanding cut wood

Sanding the wood is a 3-stage process. Start by using the 80-grit sandpaper to remove the more obvious marks or dents on the wood surface. Make sure that the sides and corners are also sanded properly to avoid splinters. Afterwards, move to the the 120-grit sandpaper for a better and smoother surface. Reserve the 220-grit sandpaper as it will be used in the finishing stage of the process.

6. Prepare the wood for the rabbet joint

Marking wood for rabbet joint

Take the measurement from one end of the under table. Align it to the leftmost side of the 4” face of your 2”x4” wood. Mark it accordingly, making sure to leave a 2-inch allowance from the top end.

7. Cut the pockets

Cutting pockets for rabbet points

Cut the rabbet joint pockets using your circular saw or regular saw. Remember to cut smoothly as this will be your under-table’s base.

8. Clean and sand the pockets

Clean and sand rabbet point pockets

After the cut, clean the pockets using a chisel. Ensure that the slots are smooth and level. Sand the pockets if necessary.

9. Attach the end-side under-table

Attaching end-side under-table

Apply wood glue to the pockets. Make a starter screw and screw in the end-side under-table first, and make sure to use no more than 2 wood screws with no more than 1/2-inch spacing. Wipe the excess glue for a cleaner look.

10. Attach the side under-table

Using screwdriver to attach side to under-table

Attach the side under-table panels by applying glue to the pockets. As with the previous step, drill a pilot hole and then screw the panel to the table leg. Do this for the remaining panels and legs, and wipe down the excess glue. By this time, the bottom half of the table should be standing and level.

11. Attach the table top

Attaching table top

Attach the table top by aligning the L-bracket to the joint corners -- one connected to the under table, and the other one to the table top. Screw the L-bracket into place.

12. Check for level

Checking for level of table

Using your leveling took, check if the table is level. Make adjustments if necessary.

13. Sand the table top

Sanding table top

Sand the table top using your 220-grit sandpaper. Smoothen out the remaining rough areas, including the edges. Wipe down the table with cloth, and make sure that all the dust is gone before applying your finish.

14. Apply finishing touches

Applying finish to table

At this point, you can apply varnish, wood stain, or paint to your table. You can also customize the color of your furniture to your desire.