Introduction: Cheap Table With Only One Tool

About: After a degree in micro-engineering in Switzerland, I moved to Russia to discover new landscapes

I recently moved to my new apartment. As I have a very low budget but a lot of time and ideas, I decided to make my own table. In fact, making this table is not that long if you use these instructions.

I had also other constraints:

  • I have no car
  • I have no tools
  • I want specific dimensions in order to fit my small room
  • I want to be able to transport this table in case where I moved again

For this project, I reduced as much as possible the number of tools and operations. That is why, even if you need to buy all the tools, the cost is lower than any Ikea table.

Also, you don't need to be very accurate. The parts will works together even if you have two left hands.

Step 1: Tools and Material


  • hand saw
  • cutter
  • pencil
  • sand paper (grit size 80) (optional)
  • 3 clamps (optional)
  • mitre box (optional)
  • measuring tape (optional)
  • square edge (optional)
  • masking tape (for transportation)
  • solid plastic bag (for transportation)
  • cardboard (ground protection)


  • strap with tightening (5 m x 25 mm)
  • tabletop (60 x 150 x 1,5 cm)
  • 2 lumbers (300 x 4 x 4 cm)
  • 3 lumbers (300 x 6 x 2 cm)
  • wood glue (minimum 100g)

Step 2: Preparation for Transport

  • Cut all the (3 meters) lumbers in half in order to take them in the metro. Use the mitre box and a clamp. Some hardware store have a dedicated space, otherwise do it on a parking place
  • Make a bundle of wood with the masking tape

You are now ready for (public) transport.

Step 3: Cut the Parts

  • Using the mitre box and a clamp, cut the 4 x 4 lumber in half again. You should have four legs of 75 cm each
  • With the same method, cut the 6 x 2 lumber to obtain two parts of 135 cm and two parts of 48 cm
  • You can make a little chamfer with the sandpaper if the cut is not clean

Step 4: Gluing

  • Position the four 2 x 6 lumber in a rectangle shape under the tabletop. Let a space for the legs in the corners as shown in the figure
  • Draw some guidelines under the tabletop. This will help when positioning the 2 x 6 lumber
  • Put the wood glue under the small (2 cm) face of the 2 x 6 lumbers and spread it with your finger
  • Position the glued lumber between your guidelines and tighten the clamps
  • Repeat the last operation for the four table sides

While the glue is drying, you can already start the next step.

Step 5: Shape the Fillet

  • Draw a line at 6 cm from one end of each legs
  • Make a saw cut of approximately 1 cm
  • Draw a nice fillet on the top of the legs
  • With the cutter, shape the fillet. It is easier if you make a chamfer and then remove the edges by creating new faces and so on until you have a fillet
  • Make it perfectly smooth with the sandpaper
  • Repeat that on each leg

You table is done. Let us assemble all together.

Step 6: Assembly

  • Put the strap all around the rectangle
  • Position the legs in the corners
  • Slightly tighten the strap
  • Place the strap in the middle of the fillet
  • Tighten the strap more
  • Turn the table on its legs

Admire your masterpiece and then work on it.

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Furniture Contest 2017

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2017