If you’re shopping for prefabricated sculpting tables, you’re probably suffering from sticker shock. Nobody told you when you signed up for that sculpting class that price tags associated with this type of equipment can set you back serious bucks when you try to set up your own studio. Not to worry. Some carpentry skills and tools, plus a little sweat equity, can produce a table that’s affordable, sturdy and functional. Whether your objective is to throw pottery, fashion clay or cut stone, a great worktable is the key to producing beautiful, original pieces.
1. Use your height as a guide when you build your stone-sculpting table so you can work comfortably when standing and avoid installing a height adjustment mechanism. After all, this is your table and your height won’t be changing any time soon. Cut four lengths of 2 x 4 lumber to serve as the legs of your sculpting table based on your height measurement or buy prefabricated metal legs made to support heavy projects.
2. Built the sculpting table base. Glue sections of 2 x 4 lumber together with an industrial wood adhesive to fashion an oversized square that’s large enough to hold a standard 17-inch lazy Susan turntable. Alternately, customize the tabletop surface to accommodate a larger revolving pedestal, making sure you leave around six inches of room around the circle. Use clamps to hold the boards together, removing the excess with a damp rag. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.
3. Attach the four legs to the underside of the sculpting table square using brackets to create a solid, stable framework that won’t move while you’re working. Add pre-cut lengths of lumber between the four legs for extra support to the structure. Some sculpting table crafters sink the bottoms of the legs into metal leg braces or supports to add additional stability at the floor when cutting heavy stone. Sand all surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper.
4. Make a revolving pedestal that gives you 360-degree access to your sculpting projects. To craft the turntable, use the same instructions you followed when making the square tabletop base (Step #2), but this time around, once the glue has dried, use a jigsaw to cut the circle to the size you wish after leveling the pedestal with a belt sander to smooth out the surface.
5. Finish the turntable. Stain the pedestal circle to match the base table and seal it with several coats of polyurethane so the work surface is firmly sealed. Allow each coat of sealer to dry completely before you apply the next application. Turn the circle over. Attach a lazy Susan mechanism to the middle of the underside of the circle with wood screws. Mount the turntable atop the square base using a flange and industrial-strength bolts so the circle rotates smoothly around the table base as you work.