How to Make a Drop Leaf Dining Table

Drop leaf tables have been designed and built for several centuries because they are perfect for use in a small space.  The sides or ends of the table are designed with a hinge so that that section can be “dropped” or “collapsed” to the end or the side of the table to conserve space.  Many of these tables have a combined used for storage because they also have drawers or cabinets underneath.

Drop Leaf Dining Table

Drop Leaf Dining Table

Making a Drop Leaf Dining table is not very difficult, and requires the following materials:

  • Assorted sizes of screws
  • Plywood
  • Boards
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Hinges

The following tools are usually also required:

  • Electric drill
  • Electric circular saw

The basic steps used to build a drop leaf table are as follows:

  1. Saw the boards into the desired length for the top part of the table.
  2. Saw four boards to be used for the legs into the desired height of the table (if there are to be four table legs).
  3. Saw the boards for the sides to the desired length for the drop sides (some designs use the short side of the table for the drop sides to extend the length of the table, while other designs use the long side of the table for the drop sides to extend the length or width of the table).
  4. Sand the boards so that they are smooth on all sides.
  5. Place the cut boards on the bottom side of the plywood sheet one foot from the edge of the plywood and use the drill to fasten the screws and hinges.
  6. Place the cut boards for the sides adjacent to the hinges underneath and screw the hinges into the top of the table as well as to the boards that will be used as the sides.  Making sure that when the sides are raised with the hinges that the sides are level with the table top.  Also make sure that the hinges work properly before actually screwing them into the boards and that they support the side boards properly.
  7. Attach the board(s) that are to be used for the legs.  (Some designs have four legs while others have one large center leg.)   Make sure the boards are the exact same height so that the table doesn’t wobble.
  8. Stain or paint the boards and allow them to thoroughly dry.  (Some do-it-yourselfers prefer to stain or paint the boards before screwing them together, while others prefer the staining or painting to be the final step – it’s a personal preference.)

Here’s a useful video you may like:

There are hundreds of designs available for building a drop leaf dining room table, and many come in kits with the boards precut and all the materials needs to put the table together – the only thing that has to be supplied are the tools and the do-it-yourselfer.  Since the kits have boards that are precut, it generally takes only an hour to put the drop leaf table together, but for those true do-it-yourselfer types, cutting the boards from scratch and building it completely from the ground up is the only way to really build a drop leaf dining room table.

Author: John Clax

Share This Post On