How to Read Baby Changing Table Plans

Baby changing tables are important parts of any nursery. They provide a functional, dedicated, and sanitary area for changing diapers, putting on powder, and general “baby maintenance”. Some baby changing table plans are even designed so the furniture can also be used as a dresser.

So how do you start building a baby changing table?

Well, the plans provide the basics. The good news is that baby changing table plans are drawn like any other plans…

The bad news is…

Baby changing table plans are drawn like any other plans!

In other words, the quality and ease-of-use of the plan depends on the author. How your finished baby changing table looks and functions is greatly impacted by the furniture plan, so make sure you grab a good one!

A Great Baby Changing Table Plan

A great baby changing table plan will start with a nice photo of the finished table/dresser and a description of it. It will then list the following:

  • The difficulty level of building the baby changing table (easy, moderate, difficult)
  • The approximate time required (day project, weekend project, clear-your-schedule project), which can vary between woodworkers
  • Lumber list including:
    • Type of lumber needed to build the baby changing table
    • Quantity of lumber needed to build the baby changing table (with at least a 10% padding for miscuts, mistakes, damaged wood, etc.)
    • Tips for picking out the best lumber
    • Approximate pricing for the lumber to complete the baby changing table
  • Materials list including:
    • Nails and fasteners, wood glue, biscuits, stain, varnish, paint
    • Hardware and accessories needed to finish the baby changing table (hinges, knobs, drawer rails, etc.)
    • Recommendations for stores that carry the materials
    • Approximate pricing for the materials to complete the baby changing table
  • Woodworking tools list including:
    • All hand tools needed to put together the baby changing table (hammers, screwdrivers, planers, handsaws, handsanders, etc.)
    • All power tools needed to follow the changing table plan (drills, routers, jigsaws, miter saws, belt sanders, etc., along with the size, type, and quantity of any belts, blades, and accessories needed)
    • Recommendations for where to buy the woodworking tools and specific brands to look for or avoid
    • Estimated pricing for the tools to complete the baby changing table plan
  • Measurements (measure twice, cut once!)
    • Common English measurements are 1/16 inch (1/16”, 1/16 in.), 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1 foot)
    • You can find some easy-to-use calculators (and some great tools) online: click here
  • Diagrams and step-by-step instructions for templating, making cuts, assembling, and finishing your baby changing table

If you are an experienced woodworker, you know most of this information by now. If you are just starting out, however, you need to understand that very few baby changing table plans include everything mentioned above. What do you do if something is missing?

Don’t panic!

Not So Great Baby Changing Table Plan

If your baby changing table plan is missing information, you don’t need to give up. You can still finish your woodworking project.

Start by reading your baby changing table plan and making mental (or physical) notes on what is mentioned and what is overlooked. For example, if the plan mentions nails, you know you will also need a hammer. If the plan mentions paint, then you know you will also need a paintbrush. Fill in the gaps that the author forgot.

If you still have doubts, you can always take your changing table plans into a dedicated woodworking store, such as Rockler.

A baby changing table is a great piece of furniture and will be a welcome addition to the home. Don’t let a poor plan stop you–flesh out your own baby changing table plan and get started!

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