My good friend, Jenny just moved into a compact apartment. She needed to get a table, but it sure would be nice if that table could double as more counter space and add much needed storage. The table also needed to be small, easy to move and of course stylish! Quite the list to ask of a table 🙂 Then she saw the West Elm ‘Design Workshop Wood Top Bar + Counter’ (now sold out), it fit all of the requirements, except for the hefty price tag of $2,399. I assured her that we can DIY it for a small fraction of that price.
How to Build a Rolling Table
- 2 – 2″ x 8″ x 96″ wood
- 2 – 2″ x 10″ x 96″ wood
- 2 – 1 1/4″ x 1/8″ x 72″ plain steel angle
- 6 – 1″ x 1/8″ x 36″ plain steel angle
- 2 – 1″ x 1/8″ x 36″ steel flat bar
- 20 – bolts and nuts (I used 1/4″ – 20 x 1/2″ round head machine screws and nut)
- Spray Paint
- 4 – 3″ locking swivel casters
- 2 1/2″ pocket screws*
- 1 1/4″ pocket screws*
- Polyurethane top coat*
- sand paper
- wood glue
- wood filler
I bought everything I needed to build this table from Home Depot, although I think you may be able to find the metal cheaper at a metal store.
Cut 4 pieces of 2″ x 8″ boards to about 48″. When I join 2 x boards, I like to trim the long sides to get a straight edge and to remove the rounded edge. Trim the 2″ x 8″ boards to 7″ wide.
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Set your Kreg Jig* for 1 1/2″ material. Drill pocket holes to join the boards together, about 5 holes per board. Glue and secure the boards together with 2 1/2″ screws.
Cut 4 pieces of 2″ x 10″ boards to 36″ long. Trim the 2″ x 10″ boards to just under 9″ wide. Set your Kreg Jig* for 1 1/2″ material. Drill pocket holes to join the boards together, about 5 holes per board. Glue and secure the boards together with 2 1/2″ screws.
Once the glue has dried, trim the ends of the boards to be flush.
Now it’s time to cut some metal! There are a variety of ways to cut the steel. I used a grinder with a cut off wheel, it is an easy way to cut the metal. Cut the 1 1/4″ x 1/8″ x 72″ steel angle into 4 pieces 31 1/2″ long. Cut the 1″ x 1/8″ x 36″ flat bar into approximately 18″ long pieces. Make sure to wear your safety equipment, especially glasses.
First we need to drill holes in the 4 – 31 1/2″ legs. The hole size will depend on your bolt, mine was a 1/4″ hole. Make sure when drilling the holes, you pair up the legs and do the mirror image on 2 of the legs. Drill holes according to the following dimensions.
Next, we need to drill holes in the ends of the 1″ x 1/8″ x 36″ metal shelf supports. I found it best to place the metal shelf supports where they should go (see dimensions below), and mark the matching hole, then drill.
Here’s the orientation of the shelf supports.
Once all of the holes are drilled, put the frame together with bolts, make any adjustments as necessary. Take the metal frame apart. Remove any rust with a wire brush or steel wool. Wipe all of the metal clean. Prime all of the steel parts. Once the primer is dry, I painted the metal with Rustoleum Anodized Bronze and let it dry.
Put the frame back together with bolts and nuts. Place the frame on a level surface and make sure each section is square, then tighten the bolts and nuts with a wrench. An easy way to tell if something is square is measure corner to corner, and the opposite corner to corner. Make adjustments until both measurements are the same.
Assembled table frame. Drill a few holes on the top support to attach the wood top. On the bottom, drill holes to attach the casters.
Dry fit the 2 wood shelves to make sure they fit in the metal shelf supports. Trim the wood as necessary. I notched out slots in the corners of the wood shelves to fit over the nuts. Remove any excess glue on the top and shelves, apply wood filler to any cracks, holes or blemishes and allow to dry. Sand the tops and shelves until smooth, finishing with 120-150 grit paper. Remove any dust. My friend wanted the wood to be a natural color, so I applied a few coats of Varathane Polyurethane Satin. It is a water based polyurethane. I haven’t used the water based polyurethane before, it went on really well and dried quickly, with minimal smell. I loved it.
Center the metal frame on the table top. Attach the top with 1 1/4″ pocket screws.
Attach the casters to the bottom of the frame and bottom shelf with 1 1/4″ pocket screws. You may need to shim the side without the metal. Also if your wood doesn’t sit completely flat you may have to shim a caster or two, so they table will be level.
Now your table is done, yay! My little helper loves playing on the bottom shelf of the table.
My friend is thrilled with her new industrial style table (rolling island, extra counter, and extra storage). Plus the cost ($135) was a fraction of the retail ($2,399).