How to build an end table

This step by step diy article is about how to build an end table. Building a simple end table from wood is a great way to add character to any room, as it will freshen-up the look of blunt corner. Use 2×2 lumber to build the frame of the table and several pieces of MDF or hardwood veneer plywood to make the top and the bottom shelf. Drill pocket holes, drive  in 1 1/4” wood screws and apply a good glue to join the components together properly.

Adjust the end table building plans to your needs, while using the same woodworking techniques to get the job done by yourself. Measure the components several times before making the cuts, otherwise they might nor fit together smoothly. Use a pocket hole jig to drill the pilot holes, in order to prevent the wood from splitting. Work with good judgement, if you want to build your own table like a pro.

In order to get the job done in a professional manner, we recommend you to glue the MDF or the hardwood veneer plywood to the lumber, instead of using screws. If you drive in screws you would damage the material and not obtain a rigid joint. On the other hand, by applying a good glue to the edges of the components and locking them tightly with several clamps, you will both obtain a neat look and rigid joints.


Made from this plan



In order to build a wood end table, you needs the following:



  • 2×2 lumber – LEGS
  • 2×2 lumber – APRONS
  • 3/4” MDF or hardwood plywood – TABLETOP
  • 1 1/4” wood screws – SCREWS
  • Wood glue



  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Miter saw saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits
  • Pocket hole jig



  • Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
  • Smooth the exterior edges of the components, by using a router with a 1/4” bit



  • One weekend



Build your own end table

Building an end table

Building an end table


Building a small end table by yourself is not as complicated as it might seem at first glance, if you use the right plans for your needs and appropriate woodworking techniques. Design the table as to fit your tastes, before writing down the materials required for the project.

Smart Tip: Choose the lumber with great care, as the 2x2s have to be perfectly straight and in great condition. Build the top from MDF or from hardwood veneer plywood. Alternatively, you could glue together several 2×6 wooden boards and secure them to the frame with 1 1/4” screws.



How to build an end table from wood

Building the top of the table

Building the top of the table


Firstly, build the top of the end table, as well as the bottom shelf. Therefore, you need to use two pieces of 2×2 lumber and a piece of MDF or hardwood veneer plywood. In order to glue the components together, just apply a lot of glue to their edges and clamp them tightly.

Smart Tip: Align the elements properly, before clamping them together. In addition clean the excess of glue, using a damp cloth.


Attaching the side approns

Attaching the side aprons


Next, start building the frame of the end table, while letting the glue to dry out properly. Therefore, cut the 2×2 lumber a the right size to build the legs and the side aprons of the table.

Lay the pieces of lumber on a level surface, making sure they are perfectly aligned one with another. Check the corners for squareness, before drilling the pocket holes and inserting the 1 1/4” screws.


Attaching the tabletop

Attaching the tabletop


After you have built both sides of the table, as well as the table top, you should lock them together. The process is straight-forward if you use the right woodworking techniques. Turn the frame upside-down and fit the table top, making sure the components are aligned properly.

Smart Tip: Plumb the sides of the end table with a spirit level, before inserting the 1 1/4” wood screws in the pocket holes.


Building the bottom shelf

Building the bottom shelf


The next step is to attach the bottom shelf to the table, in the same manner described above. Work with great care and judgement, if you want to obtain a professional result. Make sure the shelf is perfectly level, before driving in the 1 1/4” wood screws. If you have followed our instructions and have use the right tools for the job, the end table should look similar to the one in the image.

Smart tip: Reinforce the joints by applying wood glue to the components, before locking them together.


How to build an end table

How to build an end table


Last but not least, before using the wooden-made end table, you need to take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, you need to fill the holes with a good wood putty and let the compound dry out properly for several hours. Afterwards, sand the surface with medium-grit sandpaper and clean the dust with a dry cloth.

Smart Tip: Apply several coats of stain to the components to enhance the look of the table.



Thank you for reading our article about how to build an end table and we recommend you to check out the rest of our projects. Don’t forget to share our articles with your friends, by using the social media widgets.

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