How to make nesting tables

Project Overview

Fabulous and functional, nesting tables never go out of fashion. This set is a straightforward D.I.Y. project, requiring no specialist skills beyond measuring and drilling. The tops are cut from laminate kitchen benchtops, as their thickness is ideal for tables and they can be purchased cut-to-size with a perfectly sealed edge. Order through the Special Orders desk.

Photo credit: photography Natasha Dickins and Maree Homer.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut your lengths of timber
2 Position and mark the holes
3 Apply timber adhesive
4 Sand the frames
5 Assemble it all together
  • Step 1. Cut your lengths of timber

    From the timber, cut four legs at 425mm each, four legs at 325mm, and eight rails at 250mm. To do this, measure and cut one of each size, then use these as templates to measure and cut the rest, one at a time. This allows for the width of the saw blade and ensures all pieces are exactly the same length.

  • Step 2. Position and mark the holes

    On one rail, use a combination square to mark holes in the corners, 10mm from the edges. Position this squarely on another rail to drill the holes with a countersinking bit. The bit will indicate on the underneath piece where to make the next holes. Position this piece on the next rail and repeat for all the rails.

  • Step 3. Apply timber adhesive

    Run timber adhesive over the end-grain of a leg, position it against a rail and secure through the countersunk holes using 40mm screws. Repeat with a matching leg, then attach a rail to the other end of the legs using adhesive and screws. Repeat to make two frames from the 425mm legs and two from the 325mm legs.

  • Step 4. Sand the frames

    Smooth the frames all over using 180-grit abrasive paper with a sanding block, going over the screws to remove any breakout and rounding all edges and corners. Wipe away dust with a clean, damp cloth, then use a mini mohair roller to apply two coats of varnish, leaving to dry between coats.

  • Step 5. Assemble it all together

    To assemble, on the underside of the bench tops, measure and mark 25mm from the sides and ends to position the frames. Stagger four countersunk holes along the frame to secure using 40mm screws. Repeat for the rest of the legs, ensuring the smaller bases are attached to the smaller top.

Tools and Materials


  • Combination square
  • Drill with driver bit
  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Mitre saw or handsaw with mitre box
  • Mohair mini roller with tray
  • Safety equipment
  • Sanding block with 180-grit abrasive paper
  • Timber adhesive


  • 8g countersinking bit
  • 40mm bugle-head timber screws
  • Clean cloth
  • Clear satin varnish
  • Kaboodle ‘Biancoccino’ 600mm cut-to-measure benchtop, cut to 600mm x 300mm and 400mm x 300mm, edged all the way around
  • Three lengths of 1.8m x 66mm x 18mm meranti DAR timber
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