How to Make a Small Wood Table

Small wood tables work well for night stands, end tables, or play tables for children.

Oak works well for any table.Oak works well for any table.
The steps to build small tables are very similar to the steps required to build large tables. The only difference is that they use less wood. Oak is often used for small and large tables, because is it is known for its strength and longevity. Building your small table is not a difficult task, or an expensive one. This project can be completed in an afternoon, and it won't hurt your wallet.

Lay your two 1-inch-by-3-inch-by-20-inch boards on edge, parallel, and 18 inches apart. Lay your 18-inch boards between them so they are perpendicular to the 20-inch boards, and 18 inches apart. Drill two 3/32-inch holes through each end of the 20-inch boards and into the 18-inch boards. These pilot holes will prevent the screws from breaking when you screw these boards together. Drill a 3/8-inch hole that is a 1/4-inch deep into the 3/32-inch hole on the 20-inch boards. These are counter sunk holes that will hide your screw heads. Screw the 20-inch boards to the 18-inch boards so you have a 20-inch-by-20-inch frame. Drill pilot holes, and counter sunk holes for the screw heads for every screwing application in this project.

Screw your 15-inch boards to the inside corners of your frame so the edges are all flush with the same side of the frame. You will need four screws for each corner. These are the legs for your table, and they will need to be even so your table can sit flat.

Position your table upright, and screw the two 1-inch-by-10-inch-by-20-inch boards to the top of your table frame. These edges of these boards should be flush with the sides of the frame. Apply your wood putty to the 3/8-inch holes surrounding the screw heads, and let it dry. Sand down the table with your medium and then fine grade sand paper, wipe it down with your tack cloth, and apply your wood stain.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2 oak boards, 1-inch-by-3-inch-by-20-inch
  • 2 oak boards, 1-inch-by-3-inch-by-18-inch
  • 4 oak boards, 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-15-inch
  • 2 oak boards, 1-inch-by-10-inch-by-20-inch
  • Drill
  • Drill bit, 3/32-inch
  • Drill bit, 3/8-inch
  • Screw gun
  • 28 wood screws, 2-inch
  • Wood putty
  • Sand paper, medium and fine grade
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood stain
  • Brush


  • If you do not own a saw, the store where you purchased your wood should be able to cut your pieces to the correct size.

About the Author

Brandon Salo is a world-traveling writer, musician, medical technician and English teacher. After earning his degree at Northern Michigan University, he traveled the world while writing, performing as a jazz pianist and teaching English. In 2014 he worked as an emergency medical technician in New York state before he left to travel the world while finishing his first book.