How to make a dining table

This D.I.Y. table looks amazing, can be customised to suit your space and, best of all, will be kind to your wallet.

Bunnings magazine, January 2021

Dining in

A dining table is a furniture piece that stays with you for years. If you can’t find exactly the size or style for your space, or if you simply want the satisfaction of creating your own room-defining piece, this budget-friendly D.I.Y. project is a stylish solution that’s surprisingly easy to do.

Set aside a weekend or two to put it together, then sit back and celebrate your efforts with a meal at your new custom table.

Tools and materials

10G x 30mm countersunk timber screws

180-grit and 240-grit abrasive paper with sanding block

8G x 30mm galvanised countersunk metal screws

Clear varnish in satin finish

Cloth

Drop sheet

Drill and 4mm drill bit

Four 100mm x 125mm heavy-duty angle brackets in black

Four 150mm x 200mm stayed straight brackets in black

Furniture protection pads

Impact drill with extended driver bit

Masking tape

Mini mohair roller with tray

Router or trim router with round-over bit

Safety equipment (mask and ear and eye protection)

SpecRite 2400mm x 900mm x 33mm spotted gum laminated panel*

Tape measure and pencil

Two steel table legs (we used 700mm x 732mm steel table legs)

1. Round out the panel edges

Working outside or in a ventilated area with the panel upside down, use a trim router to round-over the edges, holding it with your right hand and pushing forward to work anticlockwise.

Tip: If you don’t have a trimmer, round over the edges with 120-grit abrasive paper.

Note: At 2400mm long and 900mm wide, the standard panel is perfect for a dining table. But if it’s too long for your room, have it shortened in store.

How to make a dining table

2. Sand down all faces

Turn the panel right-side up to round-over the top edges, working around anticlockwise. Use 180-grit abrasive paper to sand all over the panel, including under the edges, working lengthways along the grain. Repeat with 240-grit abrasive paper for a smooth finish. Wipe over all surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust.

How to make a dining table

3. Apply varnish and sand

Turn the panel upside down and use a mohair roller to apply a coat of varnish, leaving to dry. Flip the panel right-side up and varnish over the top and around the edges, leaving to dry for at least 12 hours, then sand lightly with 240-grit abrasive paper. Repeat to apply two more coats, leaving to dry between coats.

How to make a dining table

4. Assemble panel and metal frames

Work in the location the table will remain. Place the panel upside down on a drop sheet or clean cardboard. Position the metal frames 400mm from the ends and centred, with equal distances from the sides, then mark the holes and remove.

Note: The image shows the final positioning of the frame and brackets.

How to make a dining table

5. Secure frames

Use a 4mm bit to drill pilot holes for the frames. To avoid going through panel, wrap tape around the bit, 25mm from the end, as an indicator. Reposition frames and secure into the holes with 30mm timber screws.

Tip: When working with hardwood, use a drill to make holes and an impact drill for screwing.

How to make a dining table

6. Support frames with angle brackets

Place angle brackets against the inside of the legs. Mark and drill pilot holes into the panel with a 4mm bit, securing with 30mm timber screws. Secure brackets to the legs through the holes with 30mm metal screws.

Tip: Use an extended driver bit with the impact drill to work in the tight angles.

How to make a dining table

7. Secure brackets and attach furniture pads

Position the stayed brackets against the outside of the legs, mark and drill pilot holes into the panel, securing with 30mm timber screws. Secure brackets to the legs through the holes with 30mm metal screws. Attach furniture pads under frame to prevent floor damage and turn the table into position.

How to make a dining table

*Timbers vary by state and territory; contact your local store for further information.

Want seating with that?

Take a look at our guide on how to make D.I.Y dining table bench seats.

Photo credit: John Downs

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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