How to Build a Massage Table

Michael Walker
how to build a massage table

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A massage table is specifically designed to allow a person to completely relax their neck and upper back, and you simply can’t get a good massage without one. Unfortunately, massage tables can be expensive to buy, but once you know how to build a massage table, you will find that it’s a simple DIY project. Creating your own massage table is a great way to save money, upcycle or repurpose unused items around the house, and can even be a fun family activity. It is also a great way to start your own massage business or design a custom massage table that meets unique needs or requirements, so let’s learn how to build one at home.

 

This article will discuss the tools and materials you need to build a massage table, describe how to build a simple stationary massage table, and share special considerations for your own massage table. Let’s get started. 

Things You Should Consider

Here are some of the things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to build your own massage table:

Common Materials Used in a Massage Table

Massage tables consist of a sturdy base with a comfortable top. Here are the most common materials:
  • Massage table bases are usually made of aluminum, which is very strong for its weight, or wood, which is easier for home shops to work with. 

  • Massage table uppers are usually made of foam and then covered with material to provide comfort against the skin. Luxury massage tables are covered with leather, durable and comfortable, or PVC fabric/faux leather, which is more affordable and easier to clean. 
To make the massage table described below, you will need:
  • Plywood: 2 pieces 9mm thick measuring 600 x 900mm
  • Pine boards: 2 pieces 19 x 50mm 3.6m long
  • Pine boards: 2 pieces 19 x 50mm 2.4m long
  • Pine boards: 4 pieces 19 x 64mm 2.4m long
  • Pine boards: 1 piece 19 x 64mm 1.2m long
  • Hinges: 14 hinges 19 x 64mm
  • Wood screws: 84 wood screws 6g 12mm long for the hinges
  • Wood screws: 8 wood screws 8g 12mm long
  • Wood screws: 32 wood screws 8g 30mm long
  • Finish nails: 25mm finish nails
    Staples
  • Handle and latch
  • Foam rubber
  • PVC or leather cloth
  • Wood glue

Tools Needed to Make Your Own Massage Table

To make your own massage table at home, you will need the following tools:

  • A cordless power drill + a variety of drill bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Upholstery staple gun
  • Tenon saw
  • Smoothing plane
  • Combination square
  • Sliding bevel
  • Woodworking clamps
  • Builders square
  • Sanding block and sandpaper

A router may be needed for half-lap joints, and a round-over bit may help round edges on your massage table but is not strictly necessary

You will also need standard woodworking project supplies like pencils, scissors, measuring tape, etc.

How to Build a Massage Table at Home

To build a massage table, follow these steps:

✍️ Design Your Massage Table

The materials above are for a standard-sized massage table, but you may have different needs. If you will be massaging people who are wider or taller, you may need to make a larger table. The legs of your massage table should be tall enough for the person giving the massage to stand comfortably without excessive bending or reaching, so your massage table legs may need to be longer or shorter. You may want a massage table that folds for easy storage like ours does or that has wheels for easy transportation. You may want to design your own table or review plans online for different styles of tables.

📝 To Make Our Table

  1. Cut the face hole in one sheet of plywood. In most cases, the hole should be 15cm long by 11cm wide, centered near the end of the board. Round off the edges of the face hole.

  2. Build a frame for the plywood. Using 19 x 50mm pine boards, build a frame for each sheet of plywood. Use nails and glue to attach the frames to the sheets of plywood.

  3. Cover the plywood top. Lay down a sheet of foam and lay the plywood top pieces on top. Trace around the foam’s edge, trace the face hole, then cut the foam to fit the top pieces. Next, lay down your sheet of PVC or leather cloth, placing it flat. Place the foam, then the plywood pieces, on top of the fabric. Trace around the top pieces, leaving a few inches margin on all sides of the top pieces, as well as the face hole. Cut the cloth to fit the top, then use staples and an upholstery gun to attach the vinyl to the plywood top pieces with the foam in between. Trim off the excess fabric.

  4. Make a long pair of legs. Take two 19 x 64mm pine boards cut to 855mm, and make half-lap joints at the base of the boards to hold a third board as a 555mm spacer. Attach the spacer board with glue and nails. Make two of these leg assemblies, with a 41° angle at the foot.

  5. Make a shorter pair of legs. Following the same process as above, make two more leg assemblies with boards 695mm long and another 555mm spacer, attached with a half-lap joint at the top. Make two leg assemblies, with a 30° chamfer at the top.

  6. Attach the legs to each other to make two support assemblies. Next, attach the feet of the shorter legs to the base of the larger legs with hinges resting on the spreader bar for support. They should fold flat.

  7. Measure for attaching the top to the base. Measure and pre-drill holes for attaching the leg assemblies to the inner framework of the top pieces.

  8. Attach the support pieces to the top. Place one pair of legs inside the top frame, and attach it with hinges. Repeat on the other side.

  9. Attach the top pieces to each other. Lay the massage table out flat and line up the two assembled segments with each other. Attach the two halves of the table to each other with hinges.

  10. Attach the long spreader. Turn the assembled table upright. Cut a 19 x 64mm pine board to length to fit between the bottom of the legs. Then cut the board in half, and re-attach it with hinges to fold in the middle. Then attach each end to the legs, using hinges, so the spreader collapses when the table is folded.

  11. Attach the hardware (optional). Fold the table in half, and attach a carrying handle and/or a latch to hold the table closed.

Conclusion

Building your own massage table at home is a fast and easy project and more affordable than buying one from a store. It also allows you to customize your massage table for your specific needs or upcycle materials from around your house. If you are new to woodworking and DIY projects, you may want to build a simple massage table to build your skills and then build a more advanced table afterward, once you are more familiar with the process and your specific needs and goals. And remember, if you aren’t a handyman, there are plenty of high-quality massage tables available for purchase.

📖 Related Reading: Back Massage Techniques

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Walker

Michael Walker

Michael Walker is one of our freelance fitness and well-being editors at aHappyBack.com.  He's keen on exploring brand-new health gadgets on the market and shares his hands-on experience with our readers. He is a writer by day and a reader by night because he is passionate about what he does. If you have questions about his articles, feel free to share your thoughts in the commenting section below.

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