How to Make Particleboard Furniture
Building a side table out of particleboard is a relatively quick project requiring a few tools and a little know-how. Since particleboard is not a finish material, you will need to finish the table with a combination of wood veneer, trim or ceramic tiles.
Step 1 - Cut the Top
The side table you are building will be rectangular with a top 24 by 18 inches. There will also be a base piece placed a little above the floor. Measure and cut the top piece out of your particleboard.
Step 2 - Cut Braces to Support the Legs
Use table legs squared off entirely or at least on both ends. Hold the end of one leg where it meets the top piece and trace around it on the bottom side of the particleboard. Do this at all 4 corners. Measure the distance on each side between the marks. Measure lengths of particleboard to match each of these distances. Cut them to a width of 2 to 3 inches or wide enough to reach the to the end of the upper squared section of the table legs (if part of it is lathed).
Step 3 - Attach Table Legs
Drill pilot holes at the corners of top piece and attach the table legs to the top of the table with 1 screw into each leg, drilling through the pilot holes. Make sure the square tops of the legs are flush with the sides of the tabletop.
Step 4 - Brace the Legs
With the legs in place, apply a bead of wood glue or suitable adhesive to one long end of the brace for each side. Clamp them into place. Do not glue the braces to the legs just yet. Wipe away any runoff.
Step 5 - Measure Out Base
Measure the dimensions for the base piece. It should be the same size as the top except there will be square notches cut out at all 4 corners to make room for the bottom end of the legs. Take the measurements and cut out the notches with a jigsaw after you’ve cut out the full 24 by 18 inch base.
Step 6 - Fasten Legs and Base Piece
Remove the legs and refasten them only with glue on the top edge. Run a bead of glue on abutting edges of the braces as well. Insert the screw into each leg and wipe away the excess glue. Glue in the base piece as well to the table legs. Make sure the base is level before gluing. Use long clamps to tighten the bond.
Step 7 - Affix Veneer
Cut the veneer of your choice in strips large enough to cover the outside of the brace pieces. You may also elect to cover the top and the base piece with veneer, or you can use tile. The 4 edges of the base should be tiled.
Step 8 - Add Tile
When adding the tile, use the caulking gun to apply adhesive. Leave even spaces between each tile so you can add grout later. Cover the edges of the base and top pieces.
There are many ways to finish your particleboard side table, provided you cover the exposed particleboard. Finish the job by grouting the tile. As an alternative to tile, you can trim out the edges of the particleboard with solid wood, still covering the large surfaces with veneer.