Monday, July 31, 2017

DIY Dining Table

This has been a super fun project! I have been wanting to build my own table for quite some time, for a couple reasons;
#1 The biggest reason is we needed a bigger table. Our family was barely fitting around our current one and having other people over was getting close to impossible.
#2 To save some money because it seems like furniture is either grossly over priced or not sturdy enough to last more than a couple years.
#3 I wasn't loving anything I had seen in stores.

So I started down this journey of building my own table. It was my biggest build yet and I was very intimidated and hesitant to start. I waited until the weather was finally nice enough outside and in the garage that I wouldn't freeze or fry.

I started by searching plans. There are lots out there, but ultimately settled on THIS PLAN. I loved the style and the estimated cost to build! :D So I started there but I did make some modifications along the way and I have a couple suggestions if you decide to build a table of your own.

To start, I decided not to use 2x6s for the tabletop like the plans called for. I don't have a table saw to square the edges of the lumber like she suggested and I didn't want the table to be so heavy that I couldn't move/scoot it around if I needed to clean or whatever.Instead of 2x6s I got a sheet of 4'x8' plywood and had Home Depot rip it down into 6" strips. The first guy we asked said they couldn't do it that small, but my dad was with me and asked another guy and he did it no problem. Then I just connected the strips with pocket hole screws.

The second modification I made was that I couldn't build the X under the table. My saw wouldn't do the angle that was required and I couldn't understand the alternative that she explained. So instead I cut 2x4's at a 45 degree angle to attach to the middle stretcher bar and also to the legs.

Since I used the plywood for the table top. I got 1x2s to create a border around the edge and cover the exposed edge of plywood. It adds a lot to the table, I think.

 There was one thing I didn't modify, but wished I had. The plans called for 2x4s for the legs and to shave off a 1/4" on each side with a table saw. Well, again, I don't have a table saw so I went ahead with the 2x4s and I didn't love the gap the rounded corners created. I tried to fill the gaps with wood filler but it is still quite obvious once stained. What I wish I had done was just gone ahead and gotten 4x4 posts for the legs. It would have created a much more seamless and squared off look. 

I love love love how it turned out. I went with a Dark Walnut stain. It took a loooong time to decide what color to do. I tried very hard to get a dark grey color but non of them turned out right.

In the end, I did two coats of stain and then 3 coats of poly. Just to be safe. Kids will be eating at this table after all. lol

  A couple more tips...

When I trimmed all the planks, I needed a way to keep me straight. I grabbed an extra piece of wood and squared it up crosswise to the planks and clamped it on. This helped me trim the ends straight across.

Lastly, spend the extra $10 and use pre-stain wood conditioner! It made such a difference in how the stain turned out. In most of my test patches, I didn't use the conditioner, but since I was getting frustrated I grabbed some to see if it made a difference and it really did!

Now just more pretty pictures :)

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