How to Make a Drop Leaf Round Table Top

What You'll Need
building plans for the drop leaf round table top
lumber, either hardwood or softwood
electric drill and drill bits
table saw
backing board
fabric for covering the table
#12 x 1-inch roundhead wood screws
#12 x 1 1/4-inch flathead wood screws

Drop leaf round tables are the newest choices when it comes to dining tables. The top surface of the table is separated into two or three areas. Since it is a round table, there will be two half circles and a rectangularly-cut area. This rectangle piece is known as the leaf and it is what connects the two half circles to each other. This is done with the use of hinges. The drop leaf round table is perfect when you do not really have that many people coming over. This drop leaf round table is often used at its smallest size with just one of the leaves laid out. When there is a need for more people to be able to sit down, the other leaf is set into place. It is great because it helps you to save space when you do not need that big of a table. Other than for dining purposes, you can also use the drop leaf table as a work table for when you are doing craft work. The great thing about this is that you can make your own drop leaf round table tops.

Step 1: Cut the Wood

The first step to making your drop leaf round table top is to cut the hardwood or softwood that you will be using for the project. Follow the directions as specified by your plans. 

Step 2: Place the Leaf Tops and Use the Cutting Jig

These should be put on face-down towards the backing board. To make the round table leaves the right shape, use a circular cutting jig. This will also be used for making the drop-leaf joint.

Step 3: Make the Drop Leaf Joint

You will use your router and bits; both the 1/2-inch round-over and the 1/2-inch cove. The round-over is to be used on the edges of the tabletop. These should only be used on the rounded parts, however, because the cove bit is to be used on the straight edge.

Step 4: Position the Leaves

The leaves should be faced-down on the structure of the table. Make sure that they are lined up the right way. You need to reinforce the support by using three hinges on each of the leaves. The hinges should be mortised onto the table top to make sure that they are positioned flat.

Step 5: Secure the Tops

Take your drill and create mounting holes onto the leaves. Use the 1 1/4 screws when doing this.

Step 6: Add the Finishing Touches Onto the Table Tops

You can choose to sand, stain, or oil the table tops depending on how you prefer it to look. You can also use polyurethane on it.