How to Make a Massage Table
Massage therapy has greatly increased in popularity over the past decade, and more people than ever are becoming certified as massage therapists. One of the most expensive aspects of getting started as a massage therapist, aside from the cost of certification, is purchasing a massage table for your clients. Fortunately, it is possible to make a massage table and save hundreds of dollars. Most people should be able to make a massage table in one or two weekends.
Rip the birch plywood in half along the long end using a circular saw or a table saw. You will end up with two pieces of plywood that are 72 inches by 30 inches each.
Join the two plywood sections together with wood glue. Make sure that the edges and corners line up. Press the plywood sections together and allow the glue to dry for 24 hours.
Draw a curved line to round the corners at one end of the table. Cut along the lines with a jigsaw. Draw and cut an oval that is about 8 inches wide and 12 inches long in the center of the table at the end with the rounded corners. This oval should be about 4 inches from the edge of the table.
Cut four sections of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber to make the table legs. The legs should be no longer than 36 inches. Position the legs at each corner of the plywood. Drill four pilot holes through the table surface into the top of each leg. Attach the table top to the legs using 4-inch wood screws.
Measure and mark 6 inches down on each table leg and 6 inches from each corner along the long side on the table top. Measure the distance between these two marks, and cut four sections of 2-by-4-inch lumber according to these measurements. Using a miter saw, cut the ends of these sections inward at 45-degree angles. These sections will form the braces for the table legs. Drill pilot holes through the table top and legs and attach the braces with wood screws.
Cut enough foam padding to cover the table, leaving about 4 extra inches along the perimeter. The padding should be firm, and should be at least 4 inches thick to provide optimal comfort. Cut an “X” through the foam at the oval. Fold the foam padding over the edges of the table and staple it to the underside with a staple gun.
Cover the table with cloth or vinyl. Pull the covering tightly over the foam and staple it to the underside of the table. Cut the vinyl at the oval, fold it over the foam and staple it on the underside.
While cloth is typically cheaper and more comfortable than vinyl, it also absorbs massage oils, sweat and odors. Choose vinyl for an easy-to-clean surface.
Wear protective eye gear, gloves and respiratory protection when cutting and assembling the components of your massage table.
Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.