The almighty white pedestal! Any object you put on top of this rectangular prism is automatically worth more, depending on who you ask. The subject of much debate within the contemporary art world, the white pedestal was questioned by Marcel Duchamp when he placed a common urinal on top of one and called it art. Thus questioning the very foundations of art itself. However, the white pedestal is a necessary way to display small objects. …No hate.

As a wood shop technician in the Bowling Green State University Art School, I have made countless pedestals. I have also seen quite a few different techniques. I learned the technique that I will be showing you at the Kansas City Art Institute. I don't remember who taught me this technique, but I would love to give them credit for it. I have passed this process on to many, including people who have been building them for years.

For this Instructable, the focus is on the construction of one pedestal. I chose to make four with a six inch height variation for a project I am working on. Please adjust the shape, size, and number of units to your needs.

The reasons why I prefer this Technique to others:

  • Easy assembly
  • No nails (means no wood filler)
  • clean seamless edges
  • very few tools and materials needed

Step 1: Gather Materials and Find Yourself Inside of a Wood Shop


You need a decent table saw for this process. If you have access to one it is the only power tool you will need. I also used a panel saw to cut down the 4x8 sheet that I started with because I was alone. But you can have someone help you to cut large pieces on the table saw. You will not be able to make any kind of pedestal with a circular saw. They are not accurate enough for this kind of construction. Lastly you will need a clean flat surface for assembly.


  1. MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard), found at any lumber yard. I am using 1/2 inch MDF. Use thicker material when building large pedestals or those that will be holding a lot of weight.
  2. Wood Glue
  3. Masking Tape
  4. Measuring Tape
  5. Table Saw Blade Gauge
  6. Sketch Pad
  7. Pencil


  1. Safety Glasses (of course)
  2. Hearing protection (of course)
  3. Dust Mask (MDF is nasty nasty stuff to breath in. Make sure you take precautions while cutting)
<p>These are great pedestals for light to medium usage, like in a home or corporate environment. You are headed in the right direction. If you ever need commercial grade, 300lb bearing pedestals for a heavy traffic retail store or museum, take a look at http://www.ww-pedestals.com. This way you can compare cost of doing them yourself with factory direct pricing. Or it may save your day if you are in a hurry and don't have the time to build them yourself.</p>
<p>This is a solid plan. Even with my old, rusty contractor table saw, it flew together with no major issues. I would recommend doing a test cut to make sure you've got your angle set right before making all of the cuts, even if you're using a digital angle gauge.</p><p>Great Instructable, 5 saw blades!</p>
<p>So if I wanted to build this with plywood instead of MDF, would you recommend I clamp after gluing in addition to the tape to line it up neatly in the first place?</p>
<p>I made three rectangular pedestals using this instructable which is really excellent. I staggered the heights 3&quot; apart. They will look awesome in our lobby.</p>
<p>Great! Thanks for the picture. They look nice and clean too.</p>
Well done. I see that a handy table saw makes it much easier. Also, your 'tape' tip between side panels is worth gold! :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: Born: Minnesota, Undergraduate degree: Kansas City Art Institute - Sculpture, Masters: Bowling Green State University - Sculpture, Instructor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio teaching 3D ... More »
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