How to Build a Round Wood Table Top

Written by michael straessle
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To build a solid wood round table top, choose lumber with the straightest edges possible. Remember that '2-by' lumber is rounded on the long edges and will create a v-groove at the joints when pieces are glued together. The principle for making a round wood table top is the same regardless of the type of wood you use. For tips on round wood table tops made from plywood, see "Building a Round Table: A Serious Page" in the Reference section of this article.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Six pieces of 2-by-6-by-36-inch lumber
  • Four 48-inch bar clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife
  • Belt sander
  • 60-grit sanding belt
  • 100-grit sanding belt
  • One piece of lattice 20 inches long
  • Drill
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • One 2d box nail
  • Band saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Face mask

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  1. 1

    Place the 2-by-6s on a worktable along with the bar clamps. Apply glue to one of the long edges of five of them, push them together, then place the bar clamps across all six and tighten the clamps until the glue oozes out the full length of the joint. This will create a 36-by-31½-inch rectangle.

  2. 2

    With a hammer, tap the areas where the long edges meet to keep them as even as possible while you tighten the clamps. Set the glued wood aside to dry according to the glue manufacturer's instructions.

  3. 3

    Remove the bar clamps when the glue is dry and use a putty knife to scrape off as much of the excess glue as possible. Sand the remaining glue and the lumber with a belt sander and a 60-grit sanding belt. Measure the length and the width, then mark the centre of the rectangular tabletop.

  4. 4

    Drill a small hole in one end of the 20-inch piece of lattice. Measure from that hole, down the lattice and make a mark at 15 inches and drill a small hole at that mark as well.

  5. 5

    Insert a 2d box nail into one of the holes and place it on the centre mark from Step 4. Drive the nail in to hold the lattice in place. This will serve as a larger drawing compass to create 30-inch circle.

  6. 6

    Place a pencil in the other hole and draw a circle around the table top using the lattice as a drawing compass. Cut the circle with a band saw for the best result. Sand the edges and the top of the table top with the belt sander and a 100-grit sanding belt.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean as much of the glue as you can after it oozes out between lumber with a damp cloth, if possible.
  • Cutting off the corners of the rectangle will alleviate some of the weight and make cutting the radius easier.
  • Sand the radius of the table top slowly for the best results.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Always wear a face mask or respirator for lung protection and safety glasses when cutting lumber with a band saw or sanding with a belt sander.
  • Do not paint or stain the table top without proper ventilation.

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