Getting Closer: My Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Table Project So Far

I love writing blog post headlines for the sake of search engine findability. Seems honest. We’ll see where I end up ranking.

So I’m building my own kitchen table, a *small* one.

radial sander taking on the diy kitchen table project

do-it-yourself kitchen table

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Wood glue alone isn’t strong enough to hold a table together.
  • And good luck trying to get dowels to work.
  • You can’t find 2-inch #8 wood lath screws at Lowes.
  • And screws are pretty difficult to get through hard wood anyway (the table is all oak aside from what will eventually be the tabletop support beams).
  • Pilot holes: necessary.
  • They don’t call it “hard wood” because it’s so easy to work with.
  • Screws showing on the outside of the table seem a reasonable compromise.
  • A compound miter saw is a very good thing.
  • Radial sanders are also good, but not as good as compound miter saws.
  • Just because you found instructions for building something on a website, that doesn’t mean you should follow them (dowels!).
  • Similarly, just because a different approach *seems* like it might be easier, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it that way.
  • A truck tailgate is a pretty serviceable work bench.
  • A new can of stain is too full to stir. Shake before opening.
  • 24 inches is probably too narrow for a kitchen table. (Oh well.)
  • Considering they’re not even electric, pipe clamps are pretty a-okay as well.

All I have left to do is:

  • Buy a 1×4 for the support plates.
  • Sand the legs and base.
  • Paint the legs and base (gloss black).
  • Cut the 1×4 and attach it to the legs and base.
  • Ensure that the tabletop will sit flush on its supports.
  • Screw the tabletop onto the support plates.
  • Buy a couple of *really narrow* chairs…


(PS: #1 on Google for “do it yourself kitchen table project”, #1 for “‘do it yourself kitchen table'” (exact match), and #9 for “kitchen table project”. )


  • Jimbo

    I see NO empty beer bottles lying around. That’s a huge problem right there. To me, it was a glaring mistake. Jumped right out at me.

    -Kenny R.

    (Don’t forget the bottom of the legs – they make some fairly decent padded caps; decorative copper, brass, etc for the bottoms. It can really finish it off nicely. Most of the ‘slider’ things aren’t worth a hoot. What kind of kitchen tile do you have?

    Salut, Nostrovia

  • bkdunn

    LOL. Good point — another reason why following directions you found on the Internet too closely is not always a good idea. They don’t account for the stuff that would be obvious to someone who knows what he’s doing.

    Hadn’t thought about the bottoms of the legs — one more thing to worry about, I guess. In my current place, it’ll be on carpet. I’ll be gratified and amazed if it only wobbles on one axis…


  • KAGS

    Congs on this one. Been shopping around for Tables and am not impressed with Price actually. Been teetering on building my own table. Your site has inspired me.Just a quick question did the total cost come close to the ones in shops. It doesnt matter am just curious and oh yes will have beer cans next to me and a good old radio

    • bkdunn

      It’s been a couple years, but yeah, it was maybe 25-50 percent cheaper than something similar. Those red oak boards are surprisingly expensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *