We try to reuse things around the homestead as often as possible. This past summer we acquired a new dining room table. This was a blessing as the top of the old one was worn out, and the support for one end had broken. The old table was a nice table it just needed a little TLC. We tried to get rid of it on craigslist but had no luck. This posed a problem. How do you get rid of an old table? It felt wasteful just to sit it out at the curb for the trash collector. Like with many other things on the homestead this one problem turned into a solution for another.
Candie has wanted a long narrow table to put behind the couch for some time. The table would serve two purposes. She wants a space to do school work with Devin, and it would prevent kids from climbing over the back of the couch. We have been working on a design, but the legs have been a design problem. We had to disassemble the old dining room table to get it out of the house, and like most tables it broke down into a top and two sets of legs. This was a borderline eureka moment. We needed legs for the new table, and we had a perfectly serviceable pair available from the old table.
Once we had the leg issue resolved building the table was relatively easy. We made a trip to Menards to look for wood for a table top. We like Menards, and they have a lot of options when it comes to lumber. I had originally envisioned having to glue up a large slab of boards to create the table top, but Menards caries 1’’ X 24’’ pre-glued and sanded table tops. Menards even had one that was seven feet long!
The next step in building our table top is to create a frame for the top to attach to. This will make it sturdy and give us something to attach the legs to. For this, I took some 1’’ X 6’’ pine and ripped it down into 1’’ X 3’’ pieces. We created a simple box that was 4’’ smaller than the table top was wide and long. This gave us a nice 2’’ overhang all the way around the table. We used my Kreg pocket hole jig to make pocket holes to attach the top of the table to the frame. This made very fast work of this step. My Kreg jig has gotten a lot of use over the past few years and is one of my favorite tools.
Now that the top was attached to the frame it was time to mount the legs to the frame. Each set of legs has a 1’’ X 8’’ piece of wood across the top of each pillar. We were keeping it simple with this project and simply attached this piece directly to the frame from underneath with 3’’ wood screws. The end result was a nice sturdy table that is perfect for behind the couch.
Once the table was assembled, I wanted to put a nice rounded edge on the top. To do this, I used my plunge router with a round over bit and just ran the router along the edge of the table. The final step before finishing was sanding. This was the most time-consuming part of the project. We used an orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper to sand everything. A good thing to remember when sanding wood is if you can feel a rough spot you will see it when it is stained. So I have found it is better to feel for rough spots instead of just trying to look for them.
After everything had been sanded, we used an air gun and tack cloths to remove all the dust from the surfaces. We applied a Minwax stain that also seals the wood. When applying stain, the goal is to keep the surface wet with stain. The longer you let the stain sit on the wood, the darker the surface will be. Once we reached the desired color, we wiped off all the excess stain. After the stain had dried for eight hours, we applied one coat of satin sheen polyurethane. We are very happy with our new table, and it works perfectly for what it was designed.