D.I.Y. Project, Accent Furniture: How To Make A Cheap Solid Wood Table Top
DIY Project, Accent Furniture:
If you are in need of a replacement table top and you’ve searched for sources, then you know that ready-made, solid wood table tops are not cheap. But you can make one yourself at a fraction of the price using inexpensive lumber from the hardware store.
Materials & Supplies:
*The following instructions are for a 42″ round table top. If you would like a different size and/or shape, please make the required adjustments.
1. Two pieces of 2″ x 12″ lumber, eight feet long (have these cut in half–into 4-foot long pieces–at the home improvement store),
2. Two pieces of 1″ x 2″ furring strips, approximately 30 inches long,
3. Wood glue,
4. 12 #8 wood screws, 1¾” long,
5. Drill with screwdriver bits and drill bits,
6. Electric sander,
7. 100-grit sandpaper discs,
8. 150-grit sandpaper discs,
9. wood filler,
10. stain and/or paint in your choice of color(s),
11. 24″ (or longer”) clamps.
I had my 2″ x 10″ x 8-foot pieces of lumber cut in half at the home improvement store so that they were ready to use.
I started by joining the boards together two at a time with the long edges together. I used a generous amount of wood glue and my 24″ clamps and left them to dry completely before removing the clamps.
I only have two clamps, so I had to wait until the glue dried on these two before repeating the process with the other two boards.
My boards had stamps on them, but I wasn’t concerned about that. These are easily sanded off.
Next I measured the inside area of the table base to see how long the furring strips needed to be (this will make sense in second). I wanted two furring strips, each offset from the center of the table about six inches, and with about three inches of room at either end. I decided to cut my strips to 26″.
I marked the middle of one of the 26″ furring strips, and placed it on the edge of one of the two-piece lumber sections. Then I pre-drilled three holes for screws.
Then I secured the furring strip with wood glue and screws.
With the furring strips glued and screwed into place, I flipped the table base over and placed it on the table top.
Using my tape measure and a pencil, I marked where the table top needed to be cut, allowing for a 1¾” overhang all the way around the table top.
Before cutting the table top, I made sure that I had a brand new “smooth cut” blade in my jigsaw.
And then I carefully and slowly cut along the pencil marks.
At this point, I went ahead and screwed the table top to the base from underneath.
**Important! Be sure to pre-drill the holes for your screws before attaching the base to the table top!! If you read the blog, then you know my table top ended up splitting, starting at a knot on the edge. I’m pretty sure the cause of this was the fact that I attached the base to the top with screws without pre-drilling the holes, and I screwed right into a weak spot at the knot. Learn from my very frustrating mistake, and don’t try to take short cuts!!
At this point, the table top was still pretty rough, so I started with 100-grit sandpaper on my electric sander.
I went over the top several times with the sander, being sure that the top was smooth and even, especially where the boards met.
I finished up the sanding with 150-grit sandpaper, which I also used to round the edges a bit.
This next step is completely optional, but I wanted a completely smooth table top, so I used wood filler to fill in any gaps between the boards, and then sanded them perfectly smooth.
After everything was sanded and wiped down, it was ready to finish.
I originally stained my table top, which I ended up hating. Since I used cheap #2 pine boards, the grain was very heavy…way too busy for my taste.
So I ended up going over the stained table top with a whitewash (white paint mixed with water, about a 1:1 ratio), and then several layers of dry brushing with white paint. I was much happier with this. The grain still showed through, but it was very subtle.
No sadly, as I mentioned above, my table top ended up splitting, starting at a knot on the edge and going clear across the top (pre-drill those holes!!!), so I had to come up with another solution. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making another table top like this one, so I did a much easier and quicker solution…stain-grade plywood with decorative moulding attached to the edges.
click here to see the room completely decorated, with my final table top solution.
Be sure to purchase the straightest boards possible. Warped boards will ruin a project.
If you’re going to stain your table top, just be sure that the grain in the wood isn’t very heavy. You’ll have to spend a little more money, but it will be worth it.
Pre-drill, pre-drill, and pre-drill!!! I made a rookie mistake by not pre-drilling my holes when I attached the table top to the base, and I ended up paying dearly (not so much with my wallet, but with my time) when my table top cracked. Don’t make this frustrating mistake!!
Hmmm…I can’t really think of any, but if you have an ingenious idea or variation, please share it in the comments below!!
Have you tried this d.i.y. project?
I’d love to see your results! Send your pictures to Kristi at addicted2decorating[at]live.com
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