How to Make a Plank-Style Dining Table

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Things You'll Need

  • 4 boards, 1 by 6 inches, 3 feet long

  • 4 posts, 3 by 3 inches, 28 inches long

  • 4 boards, 1 by 10 inches, 5 feet long

  • Hammer

  • Nails, 3-inch

  • Wood glue, optional

  • Sandpaper


Using old barn wood or wood left over from destroyed furniture can add character to the dining table -- and decreases the cost of materials. Create a distressed look for your plank table by hitting it with hammers, chains or other rough items before applying any stain.

Plank tables add character to a room.

Whether you want the appearance of a simple urban home, a rustic farm look or a colonial-style kitchen, a plank-style dining table features clean lines and no frills. While plank-style dining tables are available in many furniture stores, you can make one on your own for less cost -- and in just one weekend. Once your table is complete, you'll be ready to stain and seal, apply a clear coat or leave it as bare wood for a natural appearance.

Step 1

Lay the four 1-by-6 boards on a flat surface resting on their 1-inch width. Arrange the boards into a square shape, 3 by 3 feet in size. Nail two nails through each corner to connect the boards. Run a bead of wood glue along the joints, if desired, for added strength.

Step 2

Stand a 3-by-3 post upright and position it along the inside of one of the corners of your square. Nail through the frame into the post using two evenly spaced nails on the sides where the frame touches the post. Repeat with the other posts. Apply wood glue along the joints, if desired.

Step 3

Flip the unit over and set the legs on a flat surface. Lay the 5-foot boards on their 10-inch widths side by side across the square frame of the table. Adjust the boards so their length overhangs the frame on two ends by 1 foot.

Step 4

Space the boards roughly a ¼-inch apart and allow the side boards to overhang the frame by about 2 inches on both sides. Nail three nails across the width of each 10-inch board at both points where the frame boards rest below.

Step 5

Smooth the surface of the table with sandpaper along the top and edges of the 10-inch boards. Sand over the edges of the frame boards and sides of the legs to smooth portions which may come into contact with your legs when sitting. Apply paint, stain or a clear coat as desired.

Amma Marfo

Amma Marfo is a higher education professional and writer. Presently, she shares her writing expertise in the Office of Student Activities and Multicultural Programs at Emmanuel College in Boston.