A round wooden table top is a good project for an intermediate woodworker if you want a more finished looking top. If you are a beginner and want a simple, smaller top for perhaps a bedside table that will be covered with a long spread, the job is a bit easier and less expensive to achieve.
For Basic Table You Will Need
- Safety glasses
- String with tack and pencil attached
- Sheet of plywood the width of the diameter of the table top you want
- Band saw
- Varnish or Paint
Step 1 - Boards
Secure the 4 boards together to make 1 surface. Apply wood glue to the long sides of each board and then clamp together firmly using the bar clamps. As you tighten the bar clamps the boards may pop up and become uneven, use your rubber mallet to tap them back into place. Wipe away as much wood glue that oozes up between the joints as possible. Allow the wood to dry by manufacturer's instructions. Keep an eye on the drying process to make sure no boards pop up and become uneven.
Once the wood has dried, remove the clamps. Scrape away any dried glue with your putty knife. Find the center of the piece by snapping a chalk line on opposite corners of the piece forming an X. Put the tack with the string attached where the two lines meet and extend the string 18 inches. In move the string in a circular motion to mark the circumference of the table.
Step 2 - Saw
Use the band saw to cut the table top. If you want a nice finished edge, use the router to cut the beveled edge of your choice. Once this is accomplished use the belt sander to sand the top smooth and make it ready to stain. If there are cracks you should use wood putty at this time to fill them in. Let it dry and re sand.
Step 3 - Stain
Apply wood stain of your choice and allow to dry by manufacturer's instructions. Two coats are suggested for the true color. Rub down with steel wool and apply at least two coats of varnish.
Basic Table Top
Step 1 - Measure
For an easier project you will need to determine the diameter of the table you want and divide that number by 2. Make your string that length that is attached to the tack and pencil. Put the tack in the center of the piece of plywood after drawing the "X" as described above. Draw the circle and cut with the band saw.
Step 2 - Paint or Varnish
If you are gong to use the table outdoors you should seal it with paint or varnish to waterproof it. If its to be used indoors all you need to do is attach the legs or base and cover with a circular cloth that goes all the way to the floor.