One of the main considerations in knowing how to build a wood changing table is to build a sturdy, safe and convenient piece of furniture. For the baby’s safety, a wood changing table should not rock back and forth. For the parent’s convenience, a wood changing table should be of the right height. The changing table should provide enough space for the baby and contain the necessary items to change, clean and powder the baby, all within easy reach.
Step 1: Build the Table Top
From a standard sheet of plywood, cut two pieces, approximately 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep. Be sure to place the good side facing out and clue the two pieces together for a table top that is 1½ inches thick. Cut pieces to provide a border around the table top that has mitered ends and extends approximately 1 to 2 inches above the changing table top. This will keep baby and changing items secure. The wood changing table should be wide and long enough to be able to comfortably fit the baby and any needed products for changing diapers.
Step 2: Attach Legs and Braces
There are several options to choosing legs for a wood changing table. Consider buying finished, furniture legs at woodworking specialty stores. These are more expensive than dowels, but beautifully finished and ready to install with a minimum of work and effort. They also come with a sanded finish and only require varnishing. A less expensive alternative is buying wooden dowels and installing them as is, or turning them on a lathe. A final choice is to buy matching hardwood and cut 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 square pieces, as long as is necessary to accommodate the desired height for the wood changing table.
Regardless of the choices for the table legs, leg braces must be installed between each table leg to insure sturdiness of the table when changing diapers. Leg braces can be attached to the table legs with wooden dowels, biscuit joinery or glued and screwed together. The leg braces can act as supports for shelving to store diapers, wipes and changing products. Doors and drawers can also be added to the leg braces and shelving.
Step 3: Finishing Changing Table
It is critical that all of the wood on a wood changing table is sanded to a clean smooth surface. Additionally, it is important to provide a solid varnish finish that will withstand moisture. To do this, begin by sanding all of the wood with 100-grit sandpaper. Wipe off the sawdust and using a cloth soaked with mineral spirits, wipe all surfaces clean. Work up to 220-grit sandpaper, wiping off all sawdust with a cloth soaked with mineral spirits. Apply several coats of varnish, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before adding an additional coat. Buff with 0000 steel wool for a soft, lustrous finish.