How-To: Custom Crafting Table

Craft & Design



When I came in to work this morning, everyone knew what I had been up to, thanks to my ever-growing Facebook photo album – building my dream craft table. And by building I mean watching my boyfriend run with a plan he’s had in his brain for months. So for this post, I turn it over to Nick Britsky and his tutorial on how to build a multipurpose craft table.


One 4’x8′ sheet of Melamine/particle board

Four 1×6’s – 6′

Four 1×6’s – 8′

One 4’x4′ sheet of plywood (3/8 thick +/-)

Two 4″x4″ pine posts (avoid treated. use cedar only if you have lots of cash to burn)

2″ general purpose screws (I used the gold ones at THD)

21′ of molding (optional)

Paint (optional)

Casters (optional)


1) Figure out the size of your table and adjust the supplies as necessary. We went with a 4’x6′ table top with a 4’x4′ shelf underneath. This gave us a 2′ overhang so you can sit under one side


2) Cut pieces for top of the table using two 6′ 1x6s for the ends, 2 6′ 1x6s cut down to 70.5″ (removing the width of 2 boards = 1.5″) and split one 8′ 1×6 into two 46.5″ pieces.


3) Assemble the top using the longest pieces for the edges. Sandwich the smallest pieces on the top and bottom and place the 70.5″ pieces in the middle (equally spaced, roughly 16″ apart) to make a frame. Pre-drill with a 1/8″ drill bit and connect each joint with 2 screws. If you have a T-square or speed square, I recommend checking the squareness as you go.

4) Cut your legs to height. Standard desk height is 30″ and standard workbench height is 36.” Customize if you are taller or shorter. If you want to add casters don’t forget to account for them. My casters were 4.5″ tall so I cut mine legs 25.5 and almost got all the legs out of one post.

5) Add casters to the post with necessary hardware. We had an un-level floor so used the threaded kind with T-nuts.

6) Place one leg in each corner on one short end of the table just below the height of the 1x6s. Affix with 4 screws (2 on each side). Clamps and a level or T-square help with this a lot.

7) Affix the remaining two legs 44.5″ away from each leg you just affixed using the same method but only with two screws.


8) You have a faux table that is a bit wobbly at this point. Now to make the base.

9) Cut one 8′ 1×6 to make two 48″ pieces. They may be a bit shy depending on the length of the board you bought. Cut another two 8′ 1×6 to make four 46.5.” These will make up the lower shelf.

10) Pick a height for your shelf. I used the height of the speed square which was about 12.” Draw a line at this level on the left sides of the left legs and the right sides of the right legs. Affix a 48″ board on each side at this height. Then place the two of the 46.5″ boards perpendicular to those but on the inside of the legs. To finish place the remaining two 46.5″ boards in the middle as you did on the table top level.


11) The table is now much more stable. You are ready to paint this part of the table.

12) Cut the 4’x4′ plywood to 48″ (no cut) by 46.5″. Using an edge clamp and a circular saw makes this a quick process. Just make sure you check your measurements twice. It’s easy to screw up with the edge clamp. That just sets on the bottom and is ready to paint, too.

13) Cut the melamine to 4’x6′ (may require two cuts, mine did) and place on top free floating. This is really heavy and shouldn’t move. If it does, add some cleats from the bottom.


14) I took it one more step and added corner molding to finish the particleboard edge. I cut the melamine a bit over sized so with the molding the table stop snapped right on. I used construction adhesive and pneumatic brads to hold the molding in place. Then puttied & sanded the holes before painting. My corners weren’t perfect so I puttied those, too.

15) Stain or paint the molding.


16) Enjoy bonus points from significant other for at least two weeks.


Thanks, Nick! Big bonus points here! I’ve stored my heavier crafty machines on the bottom shelf as well as items I access frequently, such as my scrap stash, favorite books, and paper cutter. With the two chairs I put at the end of the table, we’re ready for craft night in the Mitten! Who wants to join me?!

Who else has a great custom workspace? I’d love to see.

16 thoughts on “How-To: Custom Crafting Table

  1. The Odd Luminary says:

    Fantastic project and wonderful tutorial. There is nothing better than the perfect work space for creating. Congratulations on your new table!

  2. Madscouser says:

    I made myself a custom cutting table as at 5ft 9in I find dining tables too low & give me back ache!
    I bought 2 half height bookcases from Ikea, sawed 1in off the bottom. Got 2 loft boards, joined together, screwed the loft boards into the bookcases then used a staplegun to staple some lovely padded vinyl onto the loft board & hey presto a good height cutting table! I also got 2 cheap bar stools to sit at it :-)

  3. Rachel Hobson says:

    This is so fabulous for so many reasons. First, what fun to watch it come together over the weekend via your pictures and commentary. Second, what an awesome thing to do together. Sure, Nick may have carried the heavier end of the building parts, but (at the risk of sounding overly cheesy and dorky) what a gift on so many levels to do this together. Love it. Hopefully I’ll get to see it in person sometime. I wanna craft in the Mitten! :)

  4. crafty penguin says:

    Awesome table! looks so tough as well, i’m sure you will have it for many years yet. I’ve customised an old Government surplus metal desk for my craft desk. It’s made entirely of metal with a laminex top in woodgrain. So I covered the laminex with a cloth backed vinyl in purple and used oak for the edges with brass screws to hold the vinyl in place and also look nice. A long time ago the larger drawer fell to pieces one day (literally!) so I’m thinking of making a bottom for the space and having an open shelf.

  5. Fotoflojoe says:

    tremendous! I’ve been looking for a table design to build R/C aircraft. This design is perfect! I’ll need to go ahead and swipe it!
    Kudos to you!

  6. Cathe Holden says:

    He’s a keeper for sure!!! Not only a fabulous functioning piece, but what a cheerleader to make that for you. I love it.

  7. Lisa says:

    Does he have a brother?

  8. Notch says:

    Why don’t you just punch one section out of a tree, then place the resulting wooden planks into a square?

  9. Dave says:

    Is that “Up In The Air” on the TV? Looks like Anna Kendrick and the hair she wore in that one.
    Nice table too!!

  10. Lish Dorset says:

    Dave – Yep, you guessed it, it was “Up in the Air.” Nice call!

  11. Lish Dorset says:

    I like to think so, Cathe ;)

  12. Lish Dorset says:

    Lisa – Ha! Sadly, he doesn’t have a brother.

  13. Lish Dorset says:

    Joe – Thanks! If you modify this design, I’d love to see what you come up with!

  14. Jake Steele says:

    So I’m curious about how much the materials cost you. I work at a design agency and this would make a perfect production table. If I can find out the cost of materials, and their low enough, I’m in bidness.

  15. Jake Steele says:

    I freakin’ love this. How much were the materials for this badboy? This will be my new production table at work.

  16. Guardados de mi feedly – 01 – Los León says:

    […] Cómo hacer una mesa para artesano […]

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