How to Make a Gateleg Table

Lead Image for How to Make a Gateleg Table
  • 8-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 40-75
What You'll Need
Table saw
Circular saw
Banding (wood) strips
Wood glue

A gateleg table is characterized as a small or petite table. You often find a gateleg table used as a card table, a table to serve tea, or an occasional table. The table is usually made with a round or oval top. Below are instructions on how to make a gateleg table.

Pick the Material

Pick your hardwood material for your table. You can choose any type of hardwood. The softer the wood, the slighter or smaller your table will look (lighter wood makes the table look much more delicate).

Make the Table Top

Outline your tabletop with a pencil on the wood. Use simple arc-making tools such as a protractor, and remember that the top of the table should be made small. Using a circular saw, cut the top of the table to size. A table saw can also be used to cut the wood.

Once you have cut the round or oval top, you need to finish off the ends or edges of the tabletop. To do this, you can purchase and add strips of wood that adhere and curve to the shape of your tabletop to make a finished edge. All you need is a little hot glue or a hairdryer to adhere the edges to the table. Cut the edging to the appropriate size. Align the strips along the edge of the tabletop using wood chips or biscuits. Trim the edges of the wood (banding) strips to meet the proper size and edges of the table.

Make the Table Legs

Purchase pre-made legs at your local home improvement store or make your own legs for the table. Make sure the legs are thin enough to be in proportion to the tabletop. Pick the same wood type as the tabletop. Keep the legs to more than 2 inches in thickness. Cut your table legs to the shape you want. Straight legs are simple for a gateleg table. Take sandpaper and smooth the edges of the table legs. Make sure all 4 legs are cut to the same size. Use a tape measure and a level to double-check the sizing.

Make the Table Base

A gateleg table has a table base. Cut the table base out of wood. You will need to cut front rails and back rails. You will need to cut swing rails as well. Attach each leg to the front and back rails using a set of wood screws. Add wood glue for extra strength. When you place the legs, make sure they are flush with the end of the rails. Then, attach the gatelegs to the swing rails.

Next, make the swing rails. Attach the gatelegs to the swing rails using glue and biscuits (photo 12). The tops of the swing rails should be flush with the tops of the gatelegs, and the faces should be flush.

Assemble the Table

Using a set of swing hinges assemble the table. Add the hinges to the open swing rail ends and on the inside of the fixed legs. Attach the tabletop to the table base and screw the hinges into place. Adjust as needed.