This narrow console table was built to be a desk for my walking pad. I wanted a desk so that I can walk and work, but I didn’t want to just get one of those ugly desk options.
Instead, I decided to build my own. When I wasn’t using it as a desk, I wanted the desk to just look like another piece of furniture, so I decided on this narrow console table design. It tucks away nicely in a corner of my office and can easily slide out if I want to use it with my walking pad.
This DIY narrow console table is functional no matter how you want to use it: as a walking pad desk or simply as a console table in a tight space.
Alright, let’s start DIYing and build this small console table!
How to build a narrow console table
- Miter Saw (we use this blade with ours)
- Rubber Mallet
- Measuring Tape (new to DIY? Be sure to check out this post with measuring tips)
- Safety Equipment
- Optional: Leveling Feet
If you would like to distress your wood to make it look aged like ours, we also recommend:
- 4- 4x4x8s (we used untreated pine from Lowe’s)
- Wood glue (this is our favorite type)
- 220 grit sanding block
This table was designed to be used as a small desk for my walking pad, so it’s a little taller than your average console table. The final dimensions are 10.5” D x 30” W x 42” H.
The beauty of DIY is that you can customize it to be the exact height you want. I’m 5’4” and love this height for working while walking on my walking pad.
If you have a little bit more room, you might want to make the desk slightly wider by adding another 4×4 to the middle, but it gets the job done for me.
STEP 1: MAKE THE CUTS
Once you decide on the overall height that you want your table to be, you’ll make your cuts. We’ll put the formulas down below. H = desired final height of your project. W = final width. You’ll need:
- (4) at H”
- (2) at H – 3.5”
- (2) at W – 7”
- (1) at W
Since we have a 12” miter saw, we were able to quickly make all of our cuts using the miter saw.
OPTIONAL STEP 2: DISTRESS YOUR WOOD
We got into a lot more depth on how to make your wood look aged in this post, but we’ll give you the gist here as well.
If you are going through the effort of distressing your wood, first mark the sides that you do NOT need to distress to save time. This will be any side that will be glued to another piece:
- One side of your longest pieces
- Two sides of your shorter leg pieces
- One side of your short top pieces
- Two sides of your long top piece
First, we used the chisel on all of the edges of the wood to get rid of the rounded edges of the 4x4s. Then we used the chisel to take out some random chunks here and there on the face of the board.
We added some more texture by hitting the board with the backside of a hammer. I did this at an angle, so it would only leave one mark at a time. Then I used a nail setter to add some small dents.
Now for the fun part: I ran the wire wheel over the entire piece, working in the direction of the grain. In a few areas, I also ran it against the grain to add some more scratches.
I then added a few more shallow marks with my chisel and then lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any splinters.
Be sure to distress any end grains that will be visible as well.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE THE TOP AND LEGS
We are going to assemble 3 separate pieces during this step: 2 sets of legs and the top.
For the legs, you’ll have two longer pieces on the outside and the shorter piece sandwiched in between. For the top, the longer piece will be in the middle, with the shorter pieces centered on the long piece.
Add a generous amount of wood glue to the sides that are going to be glued together and spread it so that it’s an even layer rather than lines of glue. Work quickly so that the glue does not start to dry before you get everything positioned. Place the pieces together and clamp in place while the glue dries.
When working on the legs, place a scrap piece of wood at the base of the legs to help you line them up. Or, if you have a level surface in your workspace, you can stand the legs up while the glue dries so that you know the bottom of the legs is flat and flush.
When working on the top, grab a few pieces of scrap wood you have from cutting the legs and use them as spacers when trying to center up the smaller top pieces on the middle one.
Once everything is positioned how you like it, clamp your boards in place. Double-check all your spacing after clamping to make sure nothing shifted around.
As the glue is drying, grab a wet paper towel and a flat head screwdriver or some nails. Stick the nails or screwdriver in the wet paper towel and use this to remove any visible excess glue.
Wood glue doesn’t stain, so it’s important to remove any glue that you can see. Focus between the boards. Since we distressed the edges and they aren’t squared off, you’ll want to actually look at the cracks and remove any glue that you can see.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE TABLE
After letting your pieces dry for at least 30 minutes, add a generous amount of wood glue to the indented area in the legs. Place the top between the legs. It should be a very tight fit, so you will likely need a rubber mallet to get it in place.
Wipe off any excess wood glue and then check to make sure everything is still square. Let the glue dry overnight before trying to lift the table by the top.
If you feel like your table needs a little more security because it wasn’t as tight of a fit, you can add some corner brackets to further secure the top to the legs. We didn’t feel this was necessary for ours.
STEP 5: FINISH
For this project, we finished it with Minwax Solid Stain in Dark Walnut. We initially tried to stain it with Minwax oil-based Dark Walnut stain and I was not a fan of the yellow pine wood grain shining through, so we opted for the solid color instead.
Once stained, we waited 2 hours and sealed it with 2 coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Matte.
OPTIONAL STEP 6: ADD LEVELING FEET
We wanted to add these leveling feet at the end so that I could more easily slide the table around if I positioned my walking pad in different places. They are also helpful because not every space in your house is going to be perfectly level, so you can quickly adjust the feet so that your table is stable no matter where you place it.
You can install these without countersinking them first, but I decided to countersink them to make them less visible. I first used a forstner bit that was a little bit larger (1 ⅜”) than the level foot and drilled until it was as deep as the foot itself.
Then I took a 3/8” drill bit and drilled through the center deep enough to insert the base of the leveling feet. Insert the base and hammer it in place so that it’s nice and secure and then screw in the leveling feet.
There you have it! Now you know how to build a narrow table that’s perfect for a small space, or to use as a desk for a walking pad!