There always seems to be a need for a decorative or functional table. With the increased popularity of using recycled and reclaimed materials in green design, building a table from reclaimed lumber can yield a very nice addition to your home decor. Follow along and see how I built this relatively easy project from pine boards originally destined for the burn pile.
Using lumber from a 75 year old demolished house, I built this coffee table with these pine boards that were up to 2 inches thick but of varying lengths, widths and thicknesses
I started off by removing all the nails and fasteners. I used a metal detector to help find any imbedded nails or other metal objects. Once this was done, I then loaded up my table saw with an older blade and ripped the stock into 5 inch wide boards. Since the original boards were about 12 inches wide, cutting them down to 5 inches was to prevent any future warping of the table.
I determined which side of each board had the most character to be used as the table surface. For projects like this, I like nail holes, dents, scratches and imperfections. Once I selected the side of the board that would show best, I loaded up my planer with older blades and planed the opposite side of each board to achieve a uniform thickness. So that the table top would glue up without any gaps, I also ensured that each board edge was 90 degrees to the planed underside. I kept the 2 outermost edges of the table top in their rough state to preserve the reclaimed lumber look.
I dry assembled the boards to see how to best arrange the boards to form the table top.
Once I was satisfied with the board layout, I glued the boards together with biscuits being careful not to have any glue squeeze out on the rough top side of the boards. Since the rough side is 'rough' and difficult to clean, any glue squeeze out would prevent the stain from producing even coverage. If glue does end up squeezing out, using a wire brush to scrub it away should do the trick.
Once dry, I cut the assembled wood slab to length to achieve a perfectly square edge at both ends of the table. I then attached a 2-inch wide breadboard at both ends of the table, made of the same material to hide that clean edge. I attached the breadboards with screws into the ends of the slab with wood plugs to hide the screws.
Using cut-offs, I then built 4-inch X 4-inch legs by laminating wood pieces together and cutting them to length.
I then cut 4-inch wide table aprons and attached the 4 legs to the aprons using 3 inch pocket screws.
Once the table frame was completed, I attached the table top to the aprons using pocket screws.
I wire brushed the tabletop to remove any grit, sawdust and any foreign material. I then surface sanded the top with 80 grit sandpaper to achieve a fairly smooth top without removing too much of the material and 'character'. The top was then vacuumed to remove all dust particles prior to staining the entire table.
I stained the table and proceeded with 5 coats of wipe-on satin finish polyurethane.
I'm quite pleased at how it turned out. Here is the finished product: