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How to Build your Own Dining Room Table

So you want to build a dining room table with your own two hands? Not a problem, with a few pieces of high quality wood and a little elbow grease, you can not only build your own dining room table, you can make it durable and also pretty awesome looking. For this project we are going for a rustic look that will fit perfect with just about any home décor.

The Skinny on What You’ll Need

Tools:

  • Chisel
  • Table Saw
  • Belt Sander
  • Pocket-Hole Jig
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Radial Arm Saw
  • Paint Brushes

Supplies & Hardware:

  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • 8 – 3/8” x 6” Lag Screws
  • 8 – 3/8” x 3” Lag Screws
  • 16 – 3/8” Washers
  • 100 – 2 ½” Pocket Hole Screws
  • 100 – 1 ½” Pocket Hole Screws
  • 10 – Brackets

Construction Grade (Douglas Fir) Lumber Cut List:

  • 3 – 4” x 4” x 8’
  • 3 – 2” x 8” x 8’
  • 2 – 2” x 12” x 12’
  • 4 – 2” x 4” x 8’

Get Planning

The above supplies will result in a table with the dimensions of 6’L x 44”W x 31”H. To help you map out the process, draw out your plans using graphing paper. When picking up your lumber, make sure each piece is square; bowed pieces will throw off your measurements and make assembly more difficult.

Designing Your Table Top

Before drilling your pocket holes, lay out the table top so you can see how you want the smaller cuts of wood laid out for your table top. Once you have the design laid out, flip the wood good-side-down so you are technically looking at the table top bottom.

Tabletop Assembly

Using your pocket hole jig and drill, drill the areas where you will be connecting the tabletop boards and use the pocket hole screws to fasten the boards together. Remember to do this on an absolutely FLAT surface. Once assembled, sand down the tabletop to reduce splintering and soften knots.

Frame Assembly

Start off building your frame by marking out the notches for the legs in your crossbeams. Set up the table saw so it will cut out the notches about 1 5/8” deep. This type of cut will allow the beams to slightly overreach, giving the frame a more rustic look. Make cuts on either end of the measurement, then cut inside the square every ¼’ or so.

Use your chisel to remove these notches. If the corners of the cuts are a bit rough, run the table saw through the notches carefully to smooth them out. Once you have notched out each cross beam, check your work by mocking up the frame; do not attach anything just yet, this is simply to make sure each piece fits.

After the mock up, use a 3/8” drill bit o drill pilot holes for your lag screws where the crossbeams and legs will connect. Now, use the lag screws and washers to connect each part of the frame. Once the skeleton of the frame is complete, attach the 2 x 4 footrest using pocket hole screws to the bottom of the frame.

Attaching the Side Rails

Make sure the rails are straight; this part is critical use a level if necessary or a true flat surface. Drill pilot holes in each rail through to the table leg. Use the 6” lag screws to attach the side rails to the legs.

Distress & Stain

For a more rustic look, you can use nails, small rakes, and a hammer, chains, or just about anything else to distress the wood. Once you are satisfied, stain the wood. Remember, the more stain you use, the darker the finished colour.

Attaching the Tabletop

Since this table will be pretty heavy, you may want to attach the tabletop right in the dining room. Place the tabletop top-side-down on a blanket or drop cloth. Lay the frame on the tabletop bottom. Once you have the frame centred, attach support 2 x 4 across the tabletop with brackets. Next, attach the brackets to the frame.

Flip your table right side up, you’re done!

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