11 Tips for Building DIY Wood Tables for Any Purpose
Did you know that the average home in America at any given time has 9 DIY jobs that need to be done? People tend to put off things that seem too difficult to do, which can lead to tasks piling up. A common DIY project is creating wood tables since they have a wide variety of uses and often have relatively low costs involved in making them. Have you had the desire to create your own DIY wood tables and don’t know where to start?
Do you feel overwhelmed when you imagine starting your first project but excited at the thought of creating something yourself? Let’s take a look at 11 simple tips to keep in mind when building that will help you to make the table of your dreams as quickly and easily as possible.
Have a Design in Mind Before Starting
Tip #1: Go online and look up tables before you do anything else.
There are so many different types of tables out there. You need to decide first if your plan is to make a giant dining room table, a small end table, or something in between.
You can go online and look through photos to find a good example of exactly what type of table you’re going to make. This inspiration can help you with the next step.
Tip #2: Sketch out your design, or use a pattern.
Once you’ve seen some of the possibilities out there, draw with a pencil and paper what you’d like your table to look like.
Don’t worry about measurements at first, you can add those in later. Once you have the overall look designed, and the measurements decided on, you can use this information to estimate how much wood you will need to complete your project.
Another option is to use a woodworking pattern and copy that to create the piece.
This step should also give you a pretty good idea of what tools you will need to get the job done.
Start with the Right Tools
With any job, having the right tools to accomplish your work is essential. With woodworking, it’s even more important to have what you need before you start to ensure that your finished piece comes out how you want. In addition, having the right tools helps you to avoid wasting materials, injuring yourself, or leading to constant trips to and from the store to grab more supplies.
Tip #3: Invest in a good circular saw.
There are several different types of saws that you might fight handy, but a circular saw will help you to cut larger pieces of wood down and can also be used to do some of the finer work you may need to do.
Tip #4: Find a sander you like, ASAP.
Sanding down wood is what turns a work-in-progress into the perfect DIY wood dining table. Smooth surfaces lead to a beautiful finish and having a trusty sander handy can help add the finishing touches to any piece.
Tip #5: Don’t forget the little tools: chisels, hammers, and mallets.
In the excitement of starting a new hobby or project, you might let some of the smaller necessary tools slip through the cracks. A chisel helps you to shape the wood and can only be used alongside a hammer or mallet.
Have a Set Plan
Like anything in life, having a proper plan in place will make any project easier. It’s important to decide where you’re going to work and be sure that you not only have the proper tools, but know how to use them, too.
Tip #6: Have a dedicated workspace.
Picture this: you’re running late for work and in your rush, you trip over your table saw and fall, meanwhile your coffee cup has collected wood shavings.
If you don’t have a place to work in, your tools and your unfinished project can get in the way. It’s best to work somewhere that isn’t a common walkway, and it’ll take a lot of stress off of your shoulders if your space is somewhere that you don’t always have to leave squeaky clean after working, such as a garage.
Understand That the Little Things Matter
Woodworking can be a fun hobby, or even a rewarding career, but in order to create things that come out looking the best they can, you need to focus on the little things along the way.
Tip #7: Square off your edges and use putty or caulk to smooth over imperfections.
When you purchase wood from the store, oftentimes the edges will be rounded off. If you try to match up wood that’s square with wood that’s rounded, you end up with a small, and unattractive gap.
To remedy this issue, use a table saw to flatten any rounded edges.
Paint won’t always hide imperfections, so use something that will.
Overfill any holes or cracks with putty or caulk and then sand them down once they dry. After, you can use stain or paint to finish it off and ensure the surface looks uniform.
Doing small things like this will help you to end up with a table that’s sturdy and looks the best it possibly can.
Tip #8: Choose a high-quality stain and apply it properly.
While it might be tempting to grab the cheapest stain off the shelf and call it a day, this is one area in particular where quality matters. The stain is the ultimate finishing touch on your work, so it’s often the make it or break it moment.
Choose a stain that has good reviews and pick a color that you’re sure you will want to stick with. Helpful hint: get a little extra in case you need to make touch-ups in the future, and write down the brand and color you picked in case you need to buy more for another project later.
Make sure that you apply the stain properly to give your wooden table the perfect finish.
Learn the Right Techniques to Make Your DIY Wood Tables
Once you have your table designed, the right tools at your disposal, and a place to work, you probably want to jump right in and get started.
Before beginning, though, it’s best to learn a few of the techniques that you will likely need when working with wood.
Tip #9: Drill pocket holes.
Drilling holes from the outer boards to the inner boards before adding screws will help you to prevent the board from cracking.
First, clamp the boards together. Measure along the center of the board and mark it around every 7 inches. Once that’s done, you can use a drill bit to drill down at an angle through the side boards.
Tip #10: Make Sure the Legs Are Sturdy.
Attaching the legs can be the trickiest part, while also being one of the most important parts. Wobbly legs can ruin a table and make it uncomfortable or even unsafe to use.
To make sure that your legs are as sturdy as possible, measure them all, even if you bought them from the store. If you need to make any adjustments, or if you’re making them yourself, clamp the wood together and cut them all at once to get them to be the same size.
Tip #11: Learn your cuts.
If you’re new to making tables with wood, chances are you will be reading instructions to help you along the way. Learning the different types of cuts that will be referenced will help make the process a breeze.
Rip-Cut– A cut made along the length of a board that makes it more narrow.
Crosscut– A cut made along the grain of the wood that makes it shorter.
Miter Cut– An angle cut that is made on the face of the wood.
Bevel Cut– An angle cut that’s made on the edge of a piece of wood and changes its profile.
Now that you’ve learned how to choose a design, what tools to start with, and some helpful tips about techniques, it’s time to start your woodworking.
Remember That Getting Started Is the Hardest Part
The most difficult part of trying something new is getting the courage to start, and learning the steps that it takes to do so. Building DIY wood tables doesn’t have to be overwhelming—in fact, it can be really fun and eventually with practice, even relaxing.
Keep in mind that to start with, the most important steps are finding a space to do your work and getting the right tools to complete your project.
Once you’ve decided what to make, getting the right materials and diving into the necessary techniques and helpful tricks is your next best move.
There’s so much information out there about woodworking that can help you to start learning the basics and build on that knowledge until you’re proficient. Take a look at our blog post that talks about the benefits of building your own wooden furniture to inspire you before getting started on your own project.