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Picture of Easy and Simple Dining Table

This past August we moved into a new apartment so we could decrease the total number of people we lived with and transition into a home that was "more adult-like" and less "fresh out of college-like". In doing so, we were losing a roommate who had supplied our dining table for the past two years, and were looking for something that would better fit our style. Being an engineer (and due to my personality in general), I decided it would be worthwhile to build our own dining table. The overall process is fairly straightforward, and I think anyone can follow along and adapt the design to fit their own space and style. It's definitely a good feeling sitting down for dinners knowing you're using something you first designed and then brought to fruition yourself. In the end, I believe the table materials (lumber + hardware + stains and polycrylic) only cost me around $125 which is extremely low considering the next closest option (of the Swedish variety) would have been around $200 minimum.

Side note: If you enjoy this Instructable then feel free to vote for me in the Furniture contest!

Step 1: The Design

Picture of The Design

Keep in mind that we in the Bay Area, CA, so for that reason I wanted something that could be built within a limited space (namely on our ~5' x 17' balcony) and was feasible with my limited tools. For this reason, the design is fairly simple and doesn't feature complex joinery or woodworking methods. Ideally this makes it pretty easy for anyone to create while still making a finished product that impresses all house guests and should stand up to the tests of time.

The design itself borrows elements from a farmhouse style table. I spent many hours looking over images of tables on the internet, along with what was available in stores for inspiration. Naturally I wasn't the first one to have the idea to make my own table, and many other creators have posted their process to YouTube which I also found to be a great resource for the overall design and techniques used (see links below).

The main things to consider are the height of the table and how many people you want it to fit. There were only going to be three of us using it regularly, but we like to have the occasional game night so wanted the potential for more than that to sit comfortably. In our case, we already had three chairs so I looked to see what the optimum table height would be and how many chairs we could put between the legs. In the end, the table is 28.5" tall with a 38.5" x 47.75" surface. In its normal configuration, we have a chair on three of the four sides with a small bench on the final side. For some occasions, we're actually able to move the chairs to straddle the legs and can squeeze in four extra people fairly comfortably (compared to the normal four it sits). All in all it's a good size for everyday use and versatile for special occasions.


Modern Split-Top Dining Table by Modern Builds

How to build a Farmhouse Table Complete Start to Finish by Wood & Screw

Farm Table DIY, Full Build! by One Minute Workbench

jessyratfink10 months ago
This turned out so nicely and I'm surprised at how much you saved by building it :D